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A Coming-Out Party (1961)

Very Important Person (original title)
A somewhat happy-go-lucky bunch of Brits in a German POW camp find their new acerbic fellow prisoner is a key officer who must be got out at all cost.


Ken Annakin


Jack Davies (original screenplay), Henry Blyth (original screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Robertson Justice ... Sir Ernest Pease KBE FRS / Lt. Farrow RN
Leslie Phillips ... Flying Off. Jimmy Cooper DFC
Stanley Baxter Stanley Baxter ... 'Jock' Everett / Kommondant Stamfel
Eric Sykes ... Willoughby, Sports Officer
Richard Wattis ... Woodcock, Entertainments Officer
Godfrey Winn Godfrey Winn ... Himself
Colin Gordon ... Briggs
John Le Mesurier ... Piggott, Escape Officer
Norman Bird ... Travers, Senior British Officer
Jeremy Lloyd ... Flt Lt. 'Bonzo' Baines DFC
John Forrest John Forrest ... 'Grassy' Green
Jean Cadell Jean Cadell ... Lady Telling Story on TV show. Opening Scene
Peter Myers Peter Myers ... P / O PR Shaw
Ronnie Stevens ... Hankley
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ... Clynes (as Ronald Leigh Hunt)


A somewhat happy-go-lucky bunch of Brits in a German POW camp find their new acerbic fellow prisoner is a key officer who must be got out at all cost. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Devilish Humor...And Almost Unbearable Suspense! See more »




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English | German | French

Release Date:

11 September 1961 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

A Coming-Out Party See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Independent Artists See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jock's quote "We're all doomed..." predates by several years the same words used as the catch-phrase of John Laurie as Private Frazer, another constitutionally pessimistic Scotsman, in Dad's Army (1968), another 1960s comedy about World War 2. See more »


When the Times Crossword is first introduced to the prisoners, the clue for 1 Across is stated as "What did Jupiter drop?" However, when Farrow has completed it, we see the 1 Across clue as "Preserve of Fiction" (solution:"ramjam"). Furthermore, the crossword is numbered #4548 whilst the solution to the previous day's crossword = #9547 - the leading "9" having been amended to a "4". See more »


Piggott, Escape Officer: I want you to take a message to Farrow. If we can notify London of the day he plans to escape, they'll lay on an agent to pick him up.
Woodcock, Entertainments Officer: Shhhh!
Flt Lt. 'Bonzo' Baines DFC: He plans to impersonate the Swiss commission.
Piggott, Escape Officer: That's ridiculous - there are three of them.
Flt Lt. 'Bonzo' Baines DFC: Yes, well, Cooper and I have volunteered to be the other two.
Piggott, Escape Officer: That's suicide.
Flt Lt. 'Bonzo' Baines DFC: He's got it all worked out. He wants a plan of the camp and a description of the Commission.
Woodcock, Entertainments Officer: Will you two stop talking! Here am I trying to do a worthwhile job and all you can do is gossip...
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Referenced in The Human Jungle: Struggle for a Mind (1964) See more »


Dance of the Cuckoos
Music by Marvin Hatley
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User Reviews

8 July 2011 | by Cedric_CatsuitsSee all my reviews

A sterling cast is largely wasted on this flimsy attempt at satire. Heavyweight JRJ's typically confident and purposeful performance is about the only thing making it watchable, although brief glimpses of comic genius Eric Sykes and twin roles from dour Scot Stanley Baxter do help lift this above the merely mundane.

The plot is strong enough but is weakened because of the light-hearted treatment, and there is little attempt at creating tension or even realism. What passed for gentle entertainment 50 years ago would mystify most modern audiences who are raised on a diet of high-octane, high-speed thrills and laughs.

As a piece of social history illustrating the British attitude to the war just 15 years after it ended, it has merit. Sadly as a piece of cinematic entertainment it does not.

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