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Jim Dixon feels anything but lucky. At the university he has to do the bidding of absent-minded and boring Professor Welch to have any hope of keeping his job. Worse, he has managed to get entangled with unexciting but neurotic Margaret Peel, a friend of the Professor's. All-in-all, the pub is the only friendly place to be. His misery is completed at a dreadful weekend gathering of the Welch clan by the arrival of son Bertrand. Not so much that Betrand is loud-mouthed and boorish - which he is - but that he has as companion Christine Callaghan, the sort of marvellous and unattainable woman Jim can only dream about. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fans of Kingsley Amis's brilliant novel might with justification hate this adaptation, but taken on its own terms, it is an enjoyable slice of 'fifties British comedy. While the novel's bite may have been lost, the movie's troubled production history (a few weeks into the filming, the original director, Ealing's Charles Crichton, was replaced) fails to show on the finished film.
Ian Charmichael is at his best in this movie. The combination of a (realistic) Northern accent, plus a slightly harder edged characterisation, helps distance him from his usual 'silly ass' image. Perhaps he isn't the Dixon of the book, but it is a fair attempt. A first rate cast adds to the fun, in particular a small but perfectly formed cameo by Terry-Thomas steals the movie.
The final chase is, as been noted, the movie's weakest link (it seems to come out of nowhere and does not fit in with the rest of the film) and is it fair from being the best Amiss adaptation (that honour belongs to the wonderful 'Only Two Can Play'). But despite these flaws, it remains a watch able enough movie.
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