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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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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Arthur Howard was first booked to play the jeweler's assistant but William Murray replaced him, and Howard was cast as a man on the train instead. 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

Deniston Russell: I couldn't possibly burgle somebody I didn't know.
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User Reviews

 
The beauty of the film is in the triumph of the Will
15 June 2014 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

I first saw this as a youngster and liked it, but over the years it's really grown on me until now I regard it as a minor classic. The main characters were all played excellently, with many lesser characters also played memorably.

Practical joker Hugh Griffiths dies and leaves GBP 50,000 to each of his four living relatives if they complete various silly but onerous tasks within one month of his death. Pulp writer Alistair Sim, snobby Fay Compton, womaniser Guy Middleton and timid George Cole are all faced with problems that are against their natures, and their attempts to succeed ultimately result in a worthy moral and laughter on Earth. Cole's "juvenile" sections used to irritate me when younger but there's plenty else to savour, especially the incomparable Sim as a determined shoplifter, Compton as a harassed skivvy and Middleton as a hornswoggled suitor. As icing on the cake there's also fluffy Joyce Grenfell, scathing John Laurie, suave Anthony Steel, jolly Ernest Thesiger, and many other old friends – even the forever bald Noel Howlett and a young Audrey Hepburn. The direction and production values were top notch too; the sets were so beautifully wooden, the acting certainly was not.

It's flimsy yet logical, life-affirming and recommended – stay with it to the end to have the last laugh.


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