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Vittorio De Sica
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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 Foreign Office in Whitehall. They decide to send Cadogan de Vere Carlton-Browne to re-establish friendly relations. Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Classic period English comedy-with scenes to die for...
Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas here vie for the honours in a dated but sparkling piece of bunkum. A comedy that aims at so many targets (the cold war US/USSR rivalry, the UN, the British civil service, 'banana republics'...) normally fails, but this certainly has more hits than misses.
There are two unmissable scenes. The first is a military march-past which is rolling-on-the-floor funny from first to last: the mixed up commentary (note the point when the commentator finally gets a sentence right!); the shenanigans on the parade ground; and the collapsing review stand all combine to excellent effect. Second, a more minor but tasty scene where a table dancer (she is dancing ON the table) distracts Terry-Thomas in the course of his diplomatic discussions- surprising how much eroticism can get through the ludicrously heavy censorship of the period!
John Le Mesurier does an effective job in a 'wicked uncle' role torn straight from the pages of 19th century melodrama. Those who recall him from his small role in Ben-Hur might have cause to reflect that here is a supporting actor who gets about a bit!
Overall, both Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers have appeared in better films but, in parts, as funny a film as you are likely to find on a wet afternoon.
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