6.6/10
613
14 user 8 critic

Private's Progress (1956)

In World War II, a failed British Officer is selected by his uncle, a Brigadier with the War Office, to participate in a secret operation to "recover" looted artworks from the Nazis.

Director:

John Boulting

Writers:

Alan Hackney (based on the story by), Frank Harvey (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Carmichael ... Pte. Stanley Windrush
Ronald Adam ... Doctor at Medical
Henry B. Longhurst Henry B. Longhurst ... Mr. Spottiswood (as Henry Longhurst)
Peter Jones ... Arthur Egan
Dennis Price ... Brig. Bertram Tracepurcel
Miles Malleson ... Mr. Windrush Snr.
Sally Miles Sally Miles ... Catherine
David King-Wood David King-Wood ... Gerald
Derrick De Marney ... Pat
William Hartnell ... Sgt. Sutton
Brian Oulton ... M.O. at Gravestone Camp
Michael Trubshawe ... Col. Fanshawe
John Le Mesurier ... Psychiatrist
Jill Adams ... Prudence Greenslade
Terry-Thomas ... Major Hitchcock
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Storyline

Stanley Windrush has to interrupt his university education when he is called up towards the end of the war. He quickly proves himself not to be officer material. This leads him to meets up with wily Private Cox who knows exactly how all the scams work in the confused world of the British Army. And Stanley's brigadier War Office uncle seems to be up to something more than a bit shady too. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll Roar at this Hilarious picture about a Gold-bricker who almost wrecked an army ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1956 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Private's Progress See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) (1957)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

William Hartnell made a career out of playing tough military NCOs in movies and on television. However, in real-life, he joined the Royal Armoured Corps in World War II, but was invalided out within eighteen months, due to a nervous breakdown. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Hitchcock: As for you Windrush, you're an absolute rotter!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: "To all those who got away with it, this film is most respectfully dedicated." See more »

Connections

Featured in The Long Day Closes (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

South of the Border
(uncredited)
Written by Michael Carr and Jimmy Kennedy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the first of the classic British comedies.

I really don't understand why this masterpiece only has a rating of 6.6! Some people have no idea what a good film is it would seem. "Private's Progress" is an "anti establishment" satire on how some people take every advantage of the position they hold in their jobs and exploit it accordingly. Such is the case with the army in this film. Set during the Second World War, a young, good- natured but rather naive enlisted Private, Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael) falls into the wrong hands after befriending the likable rogue Cox (Richard Attenborough). The latter character is into every shady, moneymaking enterprise there is. What Windrush doesn't know, is that his uncle - an army major - is also involved in the same racket of stealing and selling priceless merchandise on the black market. Dennis Price plays the thoroughly unscrupulous uncle in question, who uses his front of that of a major for his own selfish endeavours. You realise soon enough that Windrush takes everyone and everything at face value, without learning to read between the lines as it were. He has a series of adventures during his time in the army. One of these, is incurring the wrath of Terry Thomas and it makes for marvellous entertainment. The way Thomas describes his men as being "An absolute shower" is a riot. Apart from the main cast, there are many familiar actors in "Private's Progress." Ian Bannen, Kenneth Griffith, Victor Maddern, Brian Oulton, William Hartnell (The First Doctor Who), Thorley Waters and others. This satire was one of the first films to be produced by Roy and John Boulting and it is a delight from beginning to end.


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