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School for Scoundrels (1960)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  24 March 1960 (UK)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,857 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 12 critic

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:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(novels), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Carmichael ...
Henry Palfrey
...
...
Janette Scott ...
April Smith
...
Dunstan
Peter Jones ...
Dudley
Edward Chapman ...
Gloatbridge
...
Head Waiter
Irene Handl ...
Mrs. Stringer
Kynaston Reeves ...
General
Hattie Jacques ...
1st Instructress
Hugh Paddick ...
Instructor
...
2nd Instructress
Gerald Campion ...
Proudfoot
Monte Landis ...
Fleetsnod (as Monty Landis)
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Storyline

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 run by "Professor" Potter and discovers the secrets of success. But has he the courage to put all his lessons into effect ? Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Learn to gain weight by LOSING scruples!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 March 1960 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

School for Scoundrels or How to Win Without Actually Cheating  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The used car salesmen Dunstan and Dudley (Dennis Price and Peter Jones) were based on characters from the BBC radio comedy series "In All Directions" broadcast during the 1950s. The radio characters were known as Morry and Dud and were played by Peter Ustinov and Peter Jones who also wrote the scripts together with scriptwriters Frank Muir and Denis Norden. Their catch phrase "run for it!" was reprised in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Henry is trying to get a table at the restaurant, the position of the head waiter changes between shots when Henry tries to look at the reservations book. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Potter: Just remember, if you're not one up on the other fellow, then he's one up on you.
See more »

Connections

Remade as School for Scoundrels (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
How To Win Without Actually Cheating !
20 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Humilliated in sport,losing his girl to a cad, and always taken advantage of-Henry Palfrey decides enough is enough and enrols himself at the College Of Lifemanship to learn self improvement strategies.

School For Scoundrels is inspired by a trio of parody self-help books written by Stephen Potter called Gamesmanship, Lifemanship & Oneupmanship, with the subsequent result being a deftly charming satire backed up with very knowing comedy. Taking the lead role of Henry Palfrey is Ian Carmichael, tho a star of many funny and successful British comedies, Carmichael is not someone I would normally term as a confident leading man, but here he does well and I think that is probably down to having the ebullient Terry-Thomas to feed off. Terry-Thomas is here in full caddish rapscallion mode as Henry's love rival Raymond Delauney, a devilishly funny character who firmly has us begging Henry to get the better of him come the end. Some delightful laughs to be had here, from the duos tennis matches, to Henry's turning of the tables on an unscrupulous car salesmen. School For Scoundrels is never ever less than a funny movie.

However the film is far from perfect, Alistair Sim isn't given that much to do as Henry's mentor, Professor Stephen Potter, and this ultimately feels like a wasted opportunity. The direction is also pretty patchy, which when I delved further is sadly understandable. Robert Hamer was the perfect choice to direct because nestling on his CV is the majestic Kind Hearts And Coronets. But Hamer was fired shortly after filming began after lapsing back into alcoholism {he would die three years later}, so the film was completed by Hal Chester and Cyril Frankel.

Frayed edges aside tho, School For Soudrels still holds up well today, and when one witnesses the poor standard of the 2006 remake, this 1960 offering is something of a comedic gem to be cherished forever and always.

Hard cheese old boy 8/10


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