Given that this is basically a very long advertisement for Bertram Mills' Circus, it is a very entertaining movie. The jokes are amusing, the child actors pretty good, production values decent. Garry Marsh, playing to type as the stern but kind paterfamilias, is as reliable as ever and dominates the film. No doubt the many gags revolving around the beating of children or the abuse of animals would not pass muster in these somewhat more politically correct times. Nevertheless, it is a very interesting picture of upper middle class life in the Home Counties of Britain in the austerity years immediately after WWII. Mr Brown's complaints about being short of cash while supporting a full-time comic servant whose sole duties seem to be serving up two-course breakfasts and three-course lunches (Mrs Brown does the ironing, I noticed) perhaps strike the modern viewer as a little hollow. Lots of interesting early appearances from soon-to-be-popular actors, including Jon Pertwee, Peter Butterworth and Michael Balfour. Well worth seeing, pretty funny, not painful, but overlong.
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