6.5/10
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Folly to Be Wise (1952)

Approved | | Comedy | 6 December 1953 (USA)
Newly arrived Army chaplin Captain Paris (Alastair Sim) attempts to book various acts for the entertainment of a troop of soldiers.

Director:

Frank Launder

Writers:

James Bridie (play), Frank Launder (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alastair Sim ... Rev. William Paris
Elizabeth Allan ... Angela Prout
Roland Culver ... George Prout
Colin Gordon ... Professor Mutch
Martita Hunt ... Lady Dodd
Janet Brown Janet Brown ... Jessie
Peter Martyn Peter Martyn ... Walter
Miles Malleson ... Dr. Hector McAdam
Edward Chapman ... Joseph Byres M.P.
Cyril Chamberlain Cyril Chamberlain ... Drill Sergeant
Michael Ripper ... Drill Corporal
Robin Bailey Robin Bailey ... Intellectual Corporal
Michael Kelly Michael Kelly ... Staff Sergeant
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Storyline

A newly-arrived army padre is put in charge of camp entertainment and has the idea of putting on a Brains Trust with local notables. Unfortunately for him, it emerges from a question on the rights and wrongs of marriage that there is more going on between three of the panellists than he wants to know about - though the audience obviously thinks differently. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1953 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title comes from Thomas Gray's poem "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" (1768). The actual lines (the last two lines of the poem) are ".... Where ignorance is bliss, /'Tis folly to be wise". See more »

Goofs

Just before Walter gives Captain Paris a message for the Doctor, Captain Paris bangs the gavel on the table and then places the gavel next to his glasses. He then receives the message with his left hand. In the next shot he is holding his glasses with his left hand and holding the message with his right hand. See more »

Soundtracks

The Whelk Song
(uncredited)
Written by John Temple West, Johnny Johnston and Louise Kulma
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Competently filmed and performed, but essentially a light stage play which seems very dated now
15 May 2011 | by BOUFSee all my reviews

Alistair Sim is the stand-out in this rather claustrophobic adaptation of a slight stage play. Mr Sim is commendably restrained, more so than in some other Launder & Gilliat comedies, but he has so little to do, and so little happens that nowadays, one wonders why the whole thing was mounted anyway. The relationship between the aspirational secretary and her 'dumb' boyfriend is nicely constructed, and he, Peter Martyn, plays his part very nicely. Otherwise all the focus is on the more upper-middle class characters, who nowadays seem like caricatures. There was a tendency in most British cinema of the 50s to adapt stage plays, but very non-cinematically; this is a typical example. In terms of film study or of entertainment, this doesn't have a lot more than competence to commend it.


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