When newly weds Jack and Peggy face eviction, they are tricked into buying a run down houseboat. After rebuilding the engine, they take their friends Sid and Sandra, on a local trip down ... See full summary »
The crooks in London know how it works. No one carries guns and no one resists the police. Then a new gang appears that go one better. They dress as police and steal from the crooks. This ... See full summary »
Mark Conrad, a habitual drunk and troublemaker with a shady past, is expelled by Hong Kong police after one too many bar fights. He's sent to Macao on the Fa Tsan, a ferry owned by Captain ... See full summary »
On the H.M.S. Defiant, during the French Revolutionary Wars, fair Captain Crawford is locked in a battle of wills against his cruel second-in-command Lt. Scott-Paget whose heavy-handed command style pushes the crew to mutiny.
LIGHT UP THE SKY! is one of those British WW2 comedies that acted as precursors to DAD'S ARMY and at times the similarities between the two productions are remarkable. This film's plot sees a constantly exasperated Ian Carmichael in charge of a searchlight squad whose job is to literally light up the sky whenever an enemy plane approaches. It sounds like a relatively straightforward job but of course in a comedy like this almost everything goes wrong.
Given the limited nature of the men's mission, a lot of this film is padded out with endless comedy scenes and character work. Some characters are homesick, others are in love, and the arguments are endless. Sadly, this didn't make very satisfying viewing for me, even though the cast is exemplary, featuring a mix of straight and comic actors. Victor Maddern is the depressed corporal, Tommy Steele and Johnny Briggs the fresh recruits, and the reliable Sydney Tafler one of the men. Benny Hill stands out as a soldier with a stand-up routine. There are also cameos from Dick Emery, Sheila Hancock, and Cardew Robinson.
I found Carmichael a bit of a distraction in this film as it looks like he's wearing false eyebrows, although I could be wrong. The bookend scenes in which he breaks the fourth wall to address the viewer directly are fun. LIGHT UP THE SKY! is an odd mix of character drama and humour, and the tragic moments of the story sit uncomfortably with the belly laughs elsewhere. I've seen better British war comedies from the era, for example CARRY ON SERGEANT.
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