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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 Officer Jimmy Cooper DFC
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 ... Lady Telling Story on TV show - Opening Scene
Peter Myers Peter Myers ... P / O P R 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


Even the GERMAN ARMY couldn't fight this... 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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 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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Featured in War Stories (2006) See more »


Dance of the Cuckoos
Music by Marvin Hatley
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User Reviews

Lighthearted British Comedy
14 June 2007 | by JOHN_REIDSee all my reviews

Very Important Person combines elements of the Carry On films, The Great Escape and Hogan's Heroes to produce a lighthearted low budget British Comedy that is surprisingly effective. Many of the stalwarts from this era are here with John Le Mesurier, Stanley Baxter, Eric Sykes in supporting roles. I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see Sid James turning up somewhere.

James Roberson Justice is excellent in his role as the cantankerous Very Important Person. There are lots of stiff upper lips and "tickety boos" from the British and the German officers are typically cast as foolish buffoons. This must have all been an inspiration for Hogan's Heroes but a very long way from the reality of prisoner of war camps.

Overall, VIP is a fine example of British Comedy from the 60s and is well worth a look.

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