Privates on Parade (1983)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  18 March 1983 (UK)
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 688 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

The members of SADUSEA (Song And Dance Unit South East Asia) fall in and out of love while trying to dodge Malayan Communist bullets in the late 1940s. Not only that, they have to contend ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Pearson ...
Sergeant Steven Flowers
Sergeant Major Reg Drummond
Joe Melia ...
Sergeant Len Bonny
Captain Sholto Savory
Nicola Pagett ...
Acting Lieutenant Sylvia Morgan
Sergeant Eric Young-Love
Sergeant Charles Bishop
Flight Sergeant Kevin Cartwright
Robin Langford ...
Denis Quilley ...
Acting Captain Terri Dennis
Steve Dixon ...
Jasper Jacob ...
Bass Player
Leonard Preston ...
Peter Hutchinson ...
Trumpet Player


The members of SADUSEA (Song And Dance Unit South East Asia) fall in and out of love while trying to dodge Malayan Communist bullets in the late 1940s. Not only that, they have to contend with a loony, bible bashing Major who creates far more danger than any of the jungle inhabitants. Only gay captain Dennis Quilley seems capable of coping with him but even he isn't aware of the cowardly Michael Elphick selling arms to the natives. Written by Rhino <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Malaysia, 1947. Some fought. Some danced.


Comedy | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 March 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Angyalbőrben  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Adaptation of the play written by Peter Nichols. See more »


Acting Captain Terri Dennis: [dressed as Carmen Miranda, singing] Come and spend a week-a / Down in Costa Rica! / Come and lose / Your heart in Veracruz! / Think how you would bragua / In lovely Nicaragua! / That's the way to chase away the blues! / Down in old Havana, / Everything's 'manana'! / No-one work and everybody play! / How could you resist a / Weekend with Batista / The Latin American way!
See more »


Referenced in High Hopes: Privates on Parade (2004) See more »


War in the Jungle
Music by Charles Williams
Chappell Recorded Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

23 August 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is a tiny little gem that shines brighter with each viewing. Like the film THE DRESSER, it deals with the little world of the theatre during the Second World War. In this case, on one of the Malaysian islands. Most of the men that entertained the troops there were drag queens and overall, all of them were very eccentric hams! This film beautifully recaptures the music hall type of entertainment and light opera that was prevalent then. For that reason alone, this is a great film from a nostalgic/historical perspective. It's also fun to see John Cleese showing his usual flair for perceptive wit, with his performance as a bumbling yet very human officer. The film does have a dark edge to it though that may turn viewers who demand that a film neatly fits into a category of comedy OR tragedy, off. But life is interesting because it is bitter as well as sweet, and this film does live up to the honesty of its setting. In fact, it's bitter-sweetness and honesty is what makes the film stand out as a memorable gem, instead just a fun little piece of fluff.

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