6.6/10
561
12 user 9 critic

Private's Progress (1956)

In WW2, a failed British officer is selected by his uncle, a Brigadier with the War Office, to participate in a secret operation to "recover" looted artworks from the Nazis.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the story by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Doctor at Medical
Henry B. Longhurst ...
Mr. Spottiswood (as Henry Longhurst)
Peter Jones ...
Arthur Egan
...
Miles Malleson ...
Sally Miles ...
Catherine
David King-Wood ...
Gerald
...
Pat (as Derrick de Marney)
...
Sgt. Sutton
Brian Oulton ...
M.O. at Gravestone Camp
Michael Trubshawe ...
Col. Fanshawe
...
Psychiatrist
...
Prudence Greenslade
...
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Storyline

Stanley Windrush has to interrupt his university education when he is called up towards the end of the war. He quickly proves himself not to be officer material. This leads him to meets up with wily Private Cox who knows exactly how all the scams work in the confused world of the British Army. And Stanley's brigadier War Office uncle seems to be up to something more than a bit shady too. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The film that is respectfully dedicated to all those who got away with it ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1956 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Private's Progress  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) (1957)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Forty or so minutes into the film, Terry-Thomas' character goes to watch In Which We Serve, where he finds half the company. Richard Attenborough plays one of the privates watching. Attenborough also happened to star in the film In Which We Serve See more »

Quotes

Arthur Egan: Look Stanley, the British army isn't run by a lot of idiots you know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "The service caps issued for use in this film are intended to be worn by imaginary personnel only. Others who find themselves well-fitted should regard it as purely coincidental." See more »

Connections

Followed by I'm All Right Jack (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

There'll Always Be an England
(uncredited)
Music by Ross Parker
Lyrics by Hugh Charles
Sung in the pub
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User Reviews

 
Just the ticket
17 January 2006 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Growing up in England we are blessed to have the comedic genii of the Boulting Brothers and Ealing Studios. Films like Kind Hearts & Cornets, the Lavender Hill Mob, and School for Scoundrels, comedies that make us root for the crook even though we know (thanks to censorship) that they won't get away with it. Private's Progress (the precursor to I'm Alright Jack) is in the same mould. The sublime Ian Carmichael, the Machiavellian Terry-Thomas, the spivvy Richard Attenborough, the slightly otherworldly John LeMesurier - perfect stereotypes of post-war Albion. Movies like this are made to be watched on wet Sunday afternoons, cozy slippers and a pot of tea, perhaps even a biscuit or two or a slice of rich fruitcake dense with candied peel and other goodies. Safe to watch with your Auntie Doris (no sex, violence or swearing, no sir), a film that carries itself purely on a clever script and a rattling pace. Complete fluff, of course, but just the ticket as the winter's evening closes in and you're dreading returning to work on Monday. File under pretty much anything from that era with Alec Guinness (may his name be praised), Sink the Bismark, Ice Cold in Alex, Rommell, or Dambusters. British through and through, and a jolly good thing too. They don't make movies like this anymore, more's the pity.


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