Naive Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael) returns from the war, his mind set on a successful career in business. Much to his own dismay, he soon finds he has to start from the bottom and work his way up, and also that the management, as well as the trade union, use him as a tool in their fight for power.
THE BOULTING BROTHERS Annihilated the Army in "Private's Progress" - Lampooned the Lawyers in "Brothers-in-Law" - Debunked the Diplomats in "Carlton-Browne" - Gave the Varsities Vitriolic Treatment in "Lucky Jim" AND NOW With a Sharpened Sense of Satire They Badger Big Business, Are Severe on Staid Statesmen, ANd Take a Titillating Tilt at Trade Unions! See more »
The 45 RPM version of Al Saxon's theme song had different lyrics from the movie version. See more »
Ian Wilson appears briefly as an evangelist, walking past the camera in the crowd outside Aunt Dolly's home during the strike. He then reappears as a union man in the TV audience (he is hit in the face and a close-up shows his reaction). They could be the same character, but nothing in the film connects them. See more »
The cast alone is a triumph in this movie - some of the best British character actors who ever lived are here: Terry Thomas, Miles Malleson, John Le Mesurier, all backing up Ian Carmichael as the earnest, silly-ass upper-class bumbler and Peter Sellers as Fred Kite, the Marxist shop steward. Sellers in particular is wonderful; his Fred Kite is a lower class striver who has acquired just enough education to give him an inflated idea of his own abilities, but not enough to realize the gaps and inadequacies in his views. He is a perfect realization in miniature of Taine's statement that there is nothing more dangerous than a general idea in a narrow, empty mind. He boasts to his Oxford-educated gentleman lodger about the summer course he took at the university once, reminding him in a familiar fashion about the very good marmalade and toast provided by the college, while the obviously wealthy young man politely admits that he wasn't acquainted with the public dining hall during his years there.
The plot becomes more and more complex as the movie progresses, with almost everyone turning out to be on the take. The climax comes in a free-for-all over a bag containing thousands of pounds intended to bribe Stanley into joining the sensible schemers plundering the public while paying lip service to public service and solidarity with the working class. Malcolm Muggeridge has a interesting cameo in this scene, playing himself. Most recent broadcasts of this movie have edited out the disturbing racist statements of the working class characters, but the original movie had no sentimental soft spot for anyone, workers or bosses.
49 of 51 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this