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Please Sir! (1971)

 -  Comedy
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 399 users  
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Title: Please Sir! (1971)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Noel Howlett ...
Joan Sanderson ...
Richard Davies ...
Erik Chitty ...
Angela Cutforth
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David Barry ...
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Did You Know?


The schools attending the Woodbridge Rural Centre are Fenn Street Secondary School, Bow Lane and the red-blazered Boulters. See more »


When the bus is pulled over by the Police, and Wesley is delivered back to them the weather changes quickly between sunny/overcast several times. See more »


[Bernard has barged into the meeting about the school camp]
Doris Ewell: The party will consist of thirty-five children.
Bernard Hedges: Didn't you leave out the word *privileged*, Miss Ewell?
Norman Potter: Aye aye, would you burst into the United Nations like that?
See more »


References Quo Vadis (1951) See more »


All Things Bright and Beautiful
Music by William H. Monk and lyrics by Cecil F. Alexander
See more »

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British teen comedy of the early 70s
3 October 2001 | by (Melbourne) – See all my reviews

An odd assortment of students from Fenn St. School go to Woodbridge Rural Centre for 2 weeks as part of their 5th Form camp under the guidance of their hapless teacher, Mr Hedges.

There is the token Hells Angel - scared of the dark and armed with his teddy-bear, the obligatory 'tough as nails' leader, the poor boy who has been forced to forge his permission slip in order to go on the camp, and the black prankster, all of whom push their teacher to the limit. The latter for instance provokes trouble for the floundering Mr. Hedges by remarking "he's nice to know the white ones", leading to an economy of laughs over Mr. Hedges supposed white-supremacist, sexist ways - "You make me ashamed to be English/Little Hitler!" which almost costs the love-inept teacher the relationship he strikes at the end of the film.

The Fenn St. Students are pranksters who just keep getting their teacher shot in the neck from just about anybody - the camp owners, the gypsies, the school administration and the boys parents! For instance, upon arriving at the camp he tiredly heads over to the local pub, only to find the kids he had just 'tucked in' indulging in some lagers in the back room! More comedy is assured when the students get into fights and stand-offs with other schools at the camp, most notable of course the grammar school boys. Man, we even a bit of class animosity within this film!

The movie, I found quite funny, though for means of any comparison, I have not seen the original series. The acting was very serviceable for the subject material and because the humor is a bit dated (or not as consistently applied as in most teen movies made today) it would go down well with people of all ages, though I'm sure that at the time it was marketed at teens, for there is of course also a little of that clichéd sexual-tension-between-students-while-at-camp scenario. There are so many off-shoots of comedy that, coupled with the music, I almost expected Sid James to pop in!

The film also possesses a composition of stereotypical opposites that proves more fun. Take the elderly janitor Mr. Potter for instance. Just about to get into a car he pleads with post-war zeal "Let me sir, I've driven tanks sir!". There are the gypsies of course, misunderstood by Mr. Hedges when he approaches them saying "I have come in peace/can I speak to your head Chieftain?" and there is the illiterate underclass father of the boy who forged his parent's signature, who rather than reveal his shortcomings by signing a release form, let's his son stay!

The movie was made in '71 so of course it is resplendent with the odd mini-skirt and garish blue eye-shadow! See it - its good. You've got to love all these British films. The Carry On series, Not Only But Also etc. John Alderton reminds me of Paul McCartney, but that's just by the way.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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