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Private's Progress (1956)

 -  Comedy | War  -  17 February 1956 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 421 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Title: Private's Progress (1956)

Private's Progress (1956) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ian Carmichael ...
...
Peter Jones ...
Arthur Egan
...
Sgt. Sutton
Thorley Walters ...
Captain Bootle
Jill Adams ...
Prudence Greenslade
...
Private Horrocks
Victor Maddern ...
Private George Blake
Kenneth Griffith ...
George Coulouris ...
Padre (as George Colouris)
Derrick De Marney ...
Pat (as Derrick de Marney)
Ronald Adam ...
Doctor at Medical
Miles Malleson ...
Sally Miles ...
Catherine
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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:

You'll Roar at this Hilarious picture about a Gold-bricker who almost wrecked an army ! 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:

Alokas liemess√§  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) (1957)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to playing a German officer in the film (mostly speaking in English), Christopher Lee dubbed the voice of the Dennis Price character in the scenes where he is speaking in German. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Hitchcock: As for you Windrush, you're an absolute rotter!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: "To all those who got away with it, this film is most respectfully dedicated." See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

South of the Border
(uncredited)
Written by Michael Carr and Jimmy Kennedy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"An Absolute Show-wer!"
17 May 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Halliwell's Film Guide that I used to get and live by always praised 'Private's Progress', but has it ever been on TV? Not that I know of and as someone in his mid 40's I hardly would have seen it when it was theatrically released.

So, now, to my just purchased Terry Thomas Collection; very good value and which includes this film plus five more. I would suggest this be the best way of buying Private's Progress, as the remainder (not seen yet) are well regarded and Thomas starred in some great films.

My second viewing in two days and I'm loving the disarmingly naive Ian Carmichael, who isn't quite a fish out of water but is certainly floundering at the edges. The film is set in 1942 and the offbeat intro sets the tone. The script is superb, gently bristling with satirical jibes and subtle in-jokes that are only revealed after repeat viewings. The comedy relies on intelligent writing rather than visual gags, so give it a chance - and concentrate!

The cast list is quite an extravaganza, a feast of well-known and famous faces that I was brought up on. Aside of the aforementioned Terry Thomas, who is the entertainingly robust toff Major Hitchcock, John Le Mesurier as an Army psychiatrist and a bounder of a chancing fellow private, Richard Attenborough. As Private Cox, he instigates a major theme of this film, getting out all you can from an unfortunate situation that war happens to be. We might associate such waspish satire with the likes of Hollywood writers such as Billy Wilder and his 'Stalag 17', but this is our very own, very English example.

There's also an array of other, lesser characters that will be familiar to anybody who watches Brit movies of the '60s.

It all rolls along nicely, fairly briskly leading to a rather bizarre situation that finds Windrush moving into Intelligence, becoming a Japanese translator but gets sent on a mission to Germany - where his new found skills prove absolutely useless and he nearly ends up getting shot as he can't speak a word of German! The story about stolen art treasures that his Brigadier uncle (Dennis Price) is having brought back, somewhat unofficially, from occupied Germany quickens the visual pace and sees out the film, ending with Windrush finally back at his old school, where he is a master.

Transfer quality: this one is fine, obviously un-restored and slightly grainy, with the odd blemish but seldom noticeable and which is par for the course for a film of this era.

So, Private's Progress is a delight, hideously unknown and one of British cinema's little gems.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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