Down 9,181 this week

Private's Progress (1956)

 |  Comedy, War  |  17 February 1956 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 475 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 9 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 »



(based on the story by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 317 titles
created 16 Feb 2013
a list of 1691 titles
created 02 Apr 2013
a list of 1883 titles
created 10 Mar 2014
a list of 384 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 201 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Private's Progress (1956)

Private's Progress (1956) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Private's Progress.

User Polls

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

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Hamer, Hal E. Chester, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

To further the aims of the St Trinian's Marriage Bureau run by Flash Harry, the school contrives to win a competition with a European "Goodwill" trip as prize, to the horror of the Ministry... See full summary »

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Terry-Thomas, George Cole, Joyce Grenfell
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A noblewoman doomed to a loveless marriage falls into a scandalous affair with the dashing Lord Byron.

Director: Robert Bolt
Stars: Sarah Miles, Jon Finch, Richard Chamberlain
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Great Britain has had an international agreement for the last 50 years with a small pacific island. It has been ignored until the death of their king brings it to the attention of the ... See full summary »

Directors: Roy Boulting, Jeffrey Dell
Stars: Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Luciana Paluzzi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A very British comedy about a blackmailer and his victims.

Director: Mario Zampi
Stars: Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Peggy Mount
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Volunteers take over their local passenger train service (against bus company resistance) when the government announces its closure.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Stanley Holloway, George Relph, Naunton Wayne
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Man-eating businesswoman, Angela Barrows is sent by her US company to Edinburgh to investigate export opportunities. She meets businessman Robert MacPherson en route and he persuades her to... See full summary »

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Peter Sellers, Robert Morley, Constance Cummings
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A minister is accidentally appointed to a snobbish parish.

Directors: John Boulting, Roy Boulting
Stars: Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Isabel Jeans
The Magic Box (1951)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of William Friese-Greene, a British inventor who (this film would have you think) made the first movie camera.

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Robert Donat, Maria Schell, Renée Asherson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Chaos ensues for staff and students alike when an all-boys and an all-girls school are amalgamated into one.

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, John Turnbull
Desert Patrol (1958)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A small British army team is sent to destroy a German petrol dump as part of the preparation for a major attack in the North African campaign. Whilst they are there they spot a large number... See full summary »

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Richard Attenborough, John Gregson, Michael Craig
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Accident-prone Fingers runs a pretty unsuccessful gang. They try and rob wealthy but tricky Billy Gordon - who distrusts banks and fears the Inland Revenue - but he sees Fingers and the ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Zampi
Stars: Terry-Thomas, George Cole, Brenda de Banzie


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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | War


See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 February 1956 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Alokas liemessä  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-issue) (1957)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


References In Which We Serve (1942) See more »


There'll Always Be an England
Music by Ross Parker
Lyrics by Hugh Charles
Sung in the pub
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

As reassuring and familiar as worn slippers.
5 December 2000 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

The comedies of the Boulting Brothers may not have dated very well. It is hard to believe that 'Private's Progress' was released only three years before 'Some Like It Hot', because while Wilder's films seems fresher and more modern with each passing year, ever renewable and adaptable, big enough to hold the latest theory or fad, 'Progress' is a dinosaur, stone dead, trapped inside a mindset only Anne Widdicombe would recognise, unable to transcend its time or ideology by cinematic invention, comedic originality, or subversive ideas.

Furthermore, many Boultings' comedies, such as 'I'm Alright Jack' and 'Carlton-Browne of the FO' are virtually indistinguishable, sticking an upper-class ass into an 'alien' environment, be it of class, profession, modernisation, and watch him make an upper-class ass of himself.

Actually, this is a little unfair on the Boultings - one can see what they're doing. Usually embodied by the sublimely silly Ian Carmichael, this character is a receptacle of a certain kind of English ideal, someone fundamentally decent, loyal, complacent, absent-minded, a good egg, cricket-playing sort of chap, a person so removed from the actuality of real life, that when he is actually thrown into this modern inferno, where his values are so much empty posturing, he is hopelessly out of his depth, a figure of fun, to be used and abused by the new aristocracy, the cads, entrepeneurs, go-getters, women; crooks one and all. But he's not some sort of naive Holy Fool in a world of devils; he is dangerous, and his practical paralysis enables the devils to thrive, as happens in 'Progress', with a plot so blithely horrifying, you have to pay attention to be shocked.

Because, even though moments of laugh-out laughter are sparse (there are a few, eg Stanley's drunken scene), this is a thoroughly enjoyable film. This enjoyment comes largely from the Brothers' cynicism, by trotting out out the same old reliable faces you get in every British comedy of the period, aware that the mere sight of them will guarantee a fond chuckle and immediate pleasure. And dammit if they're not right.

They're all here - Carmichael, so good-naturedly inept, you can't help warming to him; the godlike Terry-Thomas, less a lecher here than usual as the bored major who slips off to the cinema or pub, although he does listen eagerly to tales of his unit's priapic effect on the local females - his 'you're all absolute showers' will never pall; Dennis Price, another glorious study in polished evil to rank with 'Kind Hearts and Coronets', as ruthlessly efficient as the Nazis as he profits from fleeing Jews (in many ways, this is a much more successful take on the world of 'Catch-22' than Nichols' film); Richard Attenborough, whose greatness as an actor is in inverse proportion to his talents as a director, wonderful here as the sly cockney to watch (as with 'The League of Gentlemen', it's a great shame that British cinema at the time was so censorious); John le Mesurier, who needs only to open up his mouth to suggest barely concealed aghastness (sic?).

The film starts well, with the timeless arcadia of Oxbridge contrasted with the destructive horror of the war situation. The Boultings' comedy is pretty much formulaic, a series of character sketches giving on to an implausible, though enjoyable plot. As is advisable in comedies, Boulting shoots in a restrained, unobtrusive style, never flat, sometimes straining for the picturesque, but sometimes, with a sharp camera movement, achieving a superb effect, such as the queue outside the medical tent where Stanley stands, a bit 'fragile'; the white pillars looking frighteningly like the unmarked military graves you find dotting France.

9 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Boob! john.barringer
Discuss Private's Progress (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: