7.1/10
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22 user 18 critic

Laughter in Paradise (1951)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 11 November 1951 (USA)
When a millionaire practical joker dies, he divides his fortune among four heirs who must carry out his zany instructions to cash in.

Director:

Mario Zampi

Writers:

Michael Pertwee (original story), Jack Davies (original story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alastair Sim ... Deniston Russell
Fay Compton ... Agnes Russell
Guy Middleton ... Simon Russell
George Cole ... Herbert Russell
Hugh Griffith ... Henry Augustus Russell
Ernest Thesiger ... Endicott
Beatrice Campbell Beatrice Campbell ... Lucille Grayson
Mackenzie Ward ... Benson
A.E. Matthews ... Sir Charles Robson
Joyce Grenfell ... Elizabeth Robson aka Fluffy
Eleanor Summerfield Eleanor Summerfield ... Sheila Wilcott
John Laurie ... Gordon Webb
Veronica Hurst Veronica Hurst ... Joan Webb
Anthony Steel ... Roger Godfrey
Charlotte Mitchell Charlotte Mitchell ... Ethel
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Storyline

Famed practical joker Henry Russell leaves 50,000 pounds to each of his four surviving relatives. But his will has one last joke - they each have to undertake a task completely out of character within a month. As each sets out on their objective they find that quite apart from the promised riches, they are unexpectedly getting a lot out of the challenge. All except caddish Simon Russell, that is. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He sets the whole world laughing ... there's even Laughter in Paradise !

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eleanor Summerfield, who plays 'Sheila Wilcott', plays 'Elizabeth Robson' in the remake Some Will, Some Won't (1970). See more »

Goofs

When Deniston Russell visits the police station for the second time, he addresses the officer on duty as Inspector. However, the man has three arrow-shaped stripes on his shoulder, which clearly marks him as a Sergeant. Even if he didn't know the difference, one would expect the police officer to correct him. See more »

Quotes

Herbert Russell: Well, sometimes worms change their spots.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood U.K.: Northern Lights (1993) See more »

User Reviews

Good idea not totally followed through
10 May 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When well known practical joker and millionaire Henry Russell dies, his surviving relatives are called together for the will reading. The will leaves them each £50K if they can complete set tasks that go against their nature within a set time period. Simmon Russell must marry the first woman he meets after reading the will, Herbert must rob the bank he works at, Agnes must serve as a maid and Deniston must commit a crime and go to jail. As each goes off to try and complete their task they find that money is not all that is to be had in the course of time.

I taped this film on the strength of George Cole and Alastair Sim starring in it. The plot is quite clever –like a twist on the old Brewser's Millions tale. In fact it clearly had potential but, after the initial set up the film has little to do. Most of the characters seem to be hanging around waiting for the final third of the film to happen to them and it is a little dry at times. The comedy is OK but rarely hilarious or really clever.

The delivery of laughs really comes down to the cast and not so much the material. Cole is quite good and is pitching well with good timing. Sim is the best one of the lot and his scenes tend to be some of the best. Middleton only served to make me think that Terry-Thomas would have been better in the caddish role, while Compton is really used as the moral `life lesson' part of the film.

Overall this is an enjoyable film – one that I'm surprised hasn't been remade in some form yet by Hollywood. It could easily be a silly comedy with a B-grade ensemble cast and work well. However this flags at times and isn't as funny as I'd hoped it would be.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gelächter im Paradies See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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