While this remake fails to come up to the standard of 'Laughter In Paradise', this is an OK effort.
Probably its greatest weakness is that it adheres too closely to the narrative structure of 'Laughter in Paradise' which for its memorable bits (mainly involving Alistair Sim) had some flat spots.
In terms of the four main characters, where SWSW improves over the original is in the Agnes storyline. Whereas the original was semi-serious and about the character's moral redemption, here it is played strictly for laughs and all the better for it. Especially as Thora Hird is a delight as Agnes and elicits the main laughs in the film.
As the smooth Simon, Leslie Phillips is perfectly cast and an improvement over Guy Middleton although he's restricted by weak material.
In the role of the nervous Denniston, the highly talented Michael Horden tries his best but can't match the brilliance of Alistair Sim; also the department store theft scene which was the famous highpoint of the original is a pale imitation here.
The weakest section involves the timid bank worker Herbert. Ronnie Corbett would seem to be perfect casting but he is disappointingly ineffectual and no match for George Cole in the original. It's probably a demonstration as good as any as to why his career has mainly been in TV with only the occasional film.
Overall a reasonable timewaster, especially if you haven't seen the original.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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