A Cambridge astrophysicist on routine business in London finds it frustratingly difficult to return a wallet of money to an Eastern European friend, a task complicated by a puzzling if scatterbrained society girl.
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Three children, Darryl, Kirk and Janet want to be rid of their priggish friend Trudy so they enter a big store and steal a battery knowing that not wanting to get involved she'll leave, ... See full summary »
Tommy is a happy sailor, travelling the world, singing his favourite songs. When he visits Spain, he gets mistaken for a famous bullfighter. Tommy finishes up in the bull-ring facing a VERY... See full summary »
A long-married couple are at war with each other and with their teenage son and daughter. The presence of a handsome young tutor complicates and sensitizes the savage domestic tensions ... See full summary »
A group of people are shipwrecked when their yacht runs around on a South Pacific island. The usable hierarchy in a upper-class British family breaks down quickly when it becomes apparent ... See full summary »
"A Jolly Bad Fellow" follows the exploits of a cynical middle-aged don (Leo McKern) at an Oxbridge-like university. A scientist, with a cold-bloodedly rationalist outlook, he is at odds with his other dons, a collection of fusty classicists who view him as an interloper. An accidental discovery by his dim-witted lab assistant (Dinsdale Landen) provides him with the means to neutralise those who stand in the way of the academic preferment he seeks. His long-suffering but loving wife (Maxine Audley) tries to overlook his philanderings, not least his liaison with a pretty young female research assistant (Janet Munro).
The film is a curious hybrid. Made at the very start of the swinging 60s, it is nevertheless reminiscent of the earlier Ealing films, of which it is a late example, not least "Kind Hearts and Coronets". There are, however, fleeting contemporary references (to Cliff Richard - a few months later it would have been The Beatles), and Janet Munro, in an adulterous seaside assignation, looks every inch the proto-dolly bird as she strolls along the sea-front, arm-in-arm with her ageing lover.
With a distinguished supporting cast that includes Dennis Price (as an especially pompous fellow academic), "A Jolly Bad Fellow" is at once an amusing and disturbing black comedy. Fans of John Barry will enjoy the superb soundtrack, featuring Alan Haven on organ, which stylistically prefigures that of "The Knack".
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