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Man in a Cocked Hat (1959)

Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (original title)
TV-PG | | Comedy | 11 April 1960 (Sweden)
A former British colony in dire need of economic aid tries to play the British against the Soviets in an attempt to secure economic aid from either side in return for political loyalty.

Writers:

Jeffrey Dell (original story), Roy Boulting (original story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry-Thomas ... Cadogan de Vere Carlton-Browne
Peter Sellers ... Señor Amphibulos - the prime minister
Luciana Paluzzi ... Her Serene Highness Princess Ilyena (as Luciana Paoluzzi)
Ian Bannen ... Young King Loris
Thorley Walters ... Colonel Bellingham of the Bays
Raymond Huntley ... Foreign Secretary Tufton Slade
Miles Malleson ... Resident Advisor Davidson
John Le Mesurier ... Grand Duke Alexis
Marie Lohr ... Lady Carlton-Browne
Kynaston Reeves Kynaston Reeves ... Sir Arthur Carlton-Browne
Ronald Adam ... Sir John Farthing
John Van Eyssen John Van Eyssen ... Hewitt
Nicholas Parsons Nicholas Parsons ... Rodgers
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Carter
Harry Locke ... Commentator
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Storyline

Great Britain has had an international agreement for the last 50 years with a small pacific island. It has been ignored until the death of their king brings it to the attention of the Foreign Office in Whitehall. They decide to send Cadogan de Vere Carlton-Browne to re-establish friendly relations. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the ROAR to end WAR.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 April 1960 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Man in a Cocked Hat See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship register # 56295 delivered on 12-1-1961. See more »

Goofs

When Amphibulos reaches for his glass to propose the toast it is almost full. When he raises it in the next cut it is nearly empty. See more »

Quotes

Señor Amphibulos - the prime minister: No. No. You must drink in one. Otherwise you will get a bit - You know?
Cadogan de Vere Carlton-Browne: Delicious!
Señor Amphibulos - the prime minister: Yes. Yes. Is called "Gruzanios". Not a drop is drunk until it is three weeks old. And now we will have the musica!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Eton Boating Song
(uncredited)
Music by Algernon Drummond and lyrics by William Johnson
Played at the airport when Carlton-Browne arrives
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Weak but mildly entertaining...
7 April 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

While Terry-Thomas is not all that well-known today, he made some wonderfully funny films in the late 1950s and 60s. As for Peter Sellers, he made some ingenious and funny films. You'd think putting these two men together would result in a memorable film...but this is not the case with "Carlton-Brown of the F.O.". While mildly interesting, it's far from a classic. Given the material, it should have been a lot more interesting.

1959 was the same year that Peter Sellers starred in the wonderful parody of politics and a tiny fictional film, "The Mouse That Roared". Oddly, "Carlton-Browne" has a very similar plot, some of the same cast and came out at almost the same time! But, because "The Mouse That Roared" was such a wonderful film, "Carlton-Browne" has been forgotten.

The film is about the fictional country of Gaillardia--a tiny country that had been part of the British empire. When the film begins, the ancient British representative on the island alerts his superiors in the UK that "something is up" there. Apparently, some folks have been digging holes and some Russian-types have been seen there. This information eventually results in a series of international incidents that are all a microcosm of the struggle between the East and West at the time.

So why did the film turn out so ordinary? Well, most of it is the writing. It just isn't all that funny. And, what's worse is that Sellers is almost completely wasted. A very talented man, he DID have a habit of making brilliant and dull films throughout his career. While this one isn't bad, it is a bit dull here and there. Given a re-write, better pacing (it drags) and less "kooky" music, the film might have worked as a comedy. As is, it is a bit clever but that is all.


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