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School for Scoundrels (1960)

Approved | | Comedy | 24 March 1960 (UK)
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:
...
Henry Palfrey
...
...
...
April Smith
...
Dunstan
Peter Jones ...
Dudley
Edward Chapman ...
Gloatbridge
...
Head Waiter
...
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! See more »

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

First film acting of Jeremy Lloyd. See more »

Goofs

When Palfrey beats Delauney at tennis, the shadows are wrong. At several points the shadows are behind both players. See more »

Quotes

[last line. Mr S. Potter to the camera]
Mr. S. Potter: I do apologize ladies and gentlemen, events do seem to have taken a most unfortunate turn. This sort of calamity we cannot always guard against, even amongst our best students. You see once, once sincerity rears its ugly head, well lifemanship is powerless...
[an orchestra starts to play]
Mr. S. Potter: stop that music... orchestra!... orchestra... stop that infernal din. Please, no, I... look at me, I must get back to Yeovil.
See more »

Connections

Remade as School for Scoundrels (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Classic bit of wicked humour!
9 April 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When Henry Palfrey meets the lovely young April Smith he thinks he has things good. However a meeting with them and Raymond Delauney sees Palfrey made to look a fool by the caddish Delauney. To counter his wishy washy ways, Palfrey joins the `Lifemanship' school of Mr Potter. Here he learns all the ploys of a cad. Upon completion of the course he sets his sight on Delauney – but can he avoid becoming that which he hates?

Terry Thomas is famous for his lecherous wretch and here he not only plays it to perfection, but also gets out played at his own game. The plot here is in three acts. Firstly the caddish Delauney outplays Palfrey. Second act Palfrey attends the school and finally Palfrey returns to his life a changed man. All three acts play out very well for different reasons, only the end of act 3 drags a little bit but ends well. The gentle comedy of the time runs through it – it is a very English film in its own way. I enjoyed the vast majority of it.

Ian Carmichael appears a weak choice for the lead but his transformation from coward to cad is well played and he was actually very good. Thomas is well cast although this is what he is famous for I suppose. Sim is pretty good but given too little to do and there are some nice little cameos from Hattie Jacques and (even better) John Le Mesurier.

Overall this is very slight but it is also very enjoyable. It isn't hilarious but it is a very enjoyable film with a good sense of wicked humour running through the film.


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