6.6/10
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13 user 8 critic

Private's Progress (1956)

In WW2, 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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Pte. Stanley Windrush
... Doctor at Medical
Henry B. Longhurst ... Mr. Spottiswood (as Henry Longhurst)
... Arthur Egan
... Brig. Bertram Tracepurcel
... Mr. Windrush Snr.
Sally Miles ... Catherine
David King-Wood ... Gerald
... Pat
... Sgt. Sutton
... M.O. at Gravestone Camp
... Col. Fanshawe
... Psychiatrist
... Prudence Greenslade
... 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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1956 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Private's Progress  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) (1957)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Hartnell made a career out of playing tough military NCOs both in films and TV. However in real life he joined the Royal Armoured Corps in WW2 but was invalided out within 18 months due to a nervous breakdown. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening credits, there is a drawing depicting three officers in the "hear, see & speak no evil" stance with the words "the producers gratefully acknowledge the official cooperation of absolutely nobody. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Decoy: Stranglehold (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

South of the Border
(uncredited)
Written by Michael Carr and Jimmy Kennedy
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User Reviews

 
What a shower you really are.
10 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

Upper class toff Stanley Windrush gets called to join the Army half way thru his university eduction, keen he may be, but he really is a fish out of water.

Brought to us from the greatly talented Boulting brothers, is this most adored of British comedies. It's fish out of water plot has been {and will forever be} done to death, but driving this one on is the sly digs at the British class system so evident in the Armed forces from yore. Windrush can't cut it as the officer his standing suggests he should be, so he is promptly sent down amongst the working class, and it's here that the film appeals mainly on the comedy front. Windrush is in with a group of dodgers and bluffers, the army has taken them in, but they are going to take what they can from the army in the process, legal or not! Yet it's here that Windrush learns the most about affinity, friendships and trust, where the classes being broken down provides scope for real good comedy, to which the meeting of the different classes works so well as the makers keenly prod the inside of the cheek with a sharp tongue.

Ian Carmichael is not the most gifted actor to have strode out for Britain, but in the right comedy role he could excel, such is the case here as he delivers the goods as the hapless Windrush. Across the cast list we have got Richard Attenborough, Dennis Price, William Hartnell, Ian Bannen and the sublime Terry-Thomas, all names that are familiar with British movie fans from the black and white period. Private's Progress is a very British picture, the humour isn't of the sledge-hammer kind, it's very subtle and very knowing. But it's a film that I'm sure will go down well with anyone who is willing to invest some good, right frame of mind, time with it.

Not quite the shower Terry-Thomas would have us believe actually. 7/10


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