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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.



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sir Ernest Pease KBE FRS / Lt. Farrow RN
... Flying Off. Jimmy Cooper DFC
Stanley Baxter ... 'Jock' Everett / Kommondant Stamfel
... Willoughby, Sports Officer
... Woodcock, Entertainments Officer
Godfrey Winn ... Himself
... Briggs
... Piggott, Escape Officer
... Travers, Senior British Officer
... Flt Lt. 'Bonzo' Baines DFC
John Forrest ... 'Grassy' Green
Jean Cadell ... Lady Telling Story on TV show. Opening Scene
Peter Myers ... P / O PR Shaw
... Hankley
... 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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Release Date:

11 September 1961 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Coming-Out Party  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


When James Robertson Justice's character shouts at the Lageroffizier, it translates as "You can kiss my arse, you filthy Nazi!" Possibly, James Robertson Justice, who spoke fluent German, ad-libbed this, certain that the rest of the crew probably wouldn't understand it, most of the audience wouldn't and the censors undoubtedly wouldn't (or get the jokes). 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 while the solution to the previous day's crossword = #9547 - the leading "9" having been amended to a "4". See more »


Jimmy Cooper: Everything is just tickety boo.
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Featured in War Stories (2006) See more »


Tiggetty Boo
Written by Reg Owen, Don Black, Jack Davies and Peter Shirley
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User Reviews

478th Review: James Robertson Justice: curmudgeon at its best
11 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

Very Important Person is a well-written, and enjoyable British comedy that really belongs with other classic 1950s films. 1935 - 1962s British Comedies are my absolutely favourite genre as they hold their charm and wit even now and Very Important Person has a great deal of the essentially British humour in tough straights.

The plot of the genius scientist - JRJ - who ends up in a POW camp and must escape at all costs is a good vehicle to hang some nice character acting from Stanley Baxter and let Leslie Philips do his bounder at play act.

There are a ton of recognisable faces from John Le Mesurier to Eric Sykes, and the terrific part actor Richard Wattis, who everyone in Britain would recognise but few can name, all making the time fly by to perfection.

Above all, there's James Robertson Justice. Justice ironically nearly always played characters that looked and sounded true Tory but was the child of two of Britain's better Socialists (They did a lot in educational reform). He, himself, stood for parliament in Scotland as a Labour MP. Thank goodness he lost! His curmudgeon, which he had already perfected as Sir Lancelott Spratt in the Doctor series, is at its best here; he takes rude to a comic art form - and we love him for it.

Ken Annakin directs, and given that his list include Battle of the Bulge and Those Magnificent Men in their FLying Machines and Monte Carlo or Bust you know you're in excellent hands.

All in all, this is very reminiscent in style to The Wooden Horse but with laughs, a classic of its style and one that will still bring a wry smile to the face.

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