The straightlaced parents of a young boy who has, until now, shown no interest in the opposite sex, are surprised when he comes home with a girl/boy from the West Indies. Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1971, when this film "came out,"(pun intended) I went to see it and I remember laughing almost non-stop. I'm unable to say why as I've not seen it since that one time. It's almost as if it's vanished off the face of the planet. Were the filmmakers ashamed of it, I wonder? I doubt I would find much in its content to laugh at were I to see it today, almost twenty-five years on. It doesn't strike me as a particularly funny film at this late stage in the film's life.
However, on to the film(not that I intend to let loose any "spoilers" since I can't remember any particular incidents). Three of the stars are my favourites and I have seen them in many other films/TV plays. The late and lamented Sir Michael Hordern, Joan Greenwood and, in an early role, Hyacinth Bucket(pronounced "Bouquet") herself, Patricia Routledge.
For me Sir Michael gave easily the best performance in the whole movie. His look of stunned insensibility dominates from the moment he's introduced to his son's "friend." Since they--and we--never discover if it's a boy or a girl that their son has brought home, they don't know if he is gay or straight. The fact that the one phone call that could have cleared the puzzle up only makes matters worse is the final nail in the coffin of this relationship--at least as far as us and the unfortunate parents are concerned. The children, at least, will go blithely on as if nothing out of the ordinary has occurred.
The mystery surrounding the actor/actress playing the boy/girlfriend was solved, for this reviewer, some years after I saw the film. Again I'm not going to give out a spoiler but I did find out the sex of the person who played the boy/girl. So I have a whole new slant on the movie and should I see it again, I'll look at it with the knowledge of what was revealed many moons ago.
All in all this was a film that no-one understood(despite being adapted from a stage play--was it successful, I wonder?). But I enjoyed the performances, especially by the three I've mentioned. Of course, at the time, I never knew that Patricia would go on to play the ultimate snob in TVs 'Keeping Up Appearances' but the woman has gone up in my estimation and, I have no doubt, will continue to do so.
I give this film 8 stars out of 10 as it's been almost twenty-five years since I saw it last and, as we all know, tastes do change. The 8 stars are for what I remember of Sir Michael Hordern's performance. To me he is a consummate actor who never turned in a bad performance in his life.
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