Likeable country postman Harold Petts gets transferred from his village to London, where on his arrival he unwittingly foils a mail train robbery. Innocent in the ways of the big city, he ...
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Likeable country postman Harold Petts gets transferred from his village to London, where on his arrival he unwittingly foils a mail train robbery. Innocent in the ways of the big city, he is thought to be a member of another gang by both the train robbers and the police, who all suspect him of trying to rob the post office where he works. Petts however gains notoriety in the post office by his ability to outperform the new mechanization which the sorting office has recently installed. Harold becomes a hero when he thwarts the robbers once more when they attempt to steal a mail-bag containing used bank notes which are being returned for destruction. As his reward, Harold gets promoted back to his home village as Postmaster.Written by
Steve Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the second of two attempts by the British branch of M-G-M to turn Spike Milligan into a film star, after the previous year's "Invasion Quartet"; but Milligan was not happy with it and once referred to it as "the serious version of that Jacques Tati film about a postman" (meaning "Jour De Fete", a film he greatly admired). See more »
It's nice to see that this ultra-obscure old British film (I've never seen it on British TV) still has appreciative fans but - wow! - it's quite an oddity. I hoped there was a chance that this would be in the same league as the best Wisdom/Phillips/Carmichael/Drake-type comedies, but it's a (delightful) disaster, for these reasons; 1) The script wasn't good/funny enough. 2) I'm sure they did their best (possibly on a particularly small budget) but the direction/technical side of things is clearly not of the typical old high standard. This isn't helped by the less-than-perfect print used on the DVD. 3) Many familiar faces are given very little to work with. 4) I had a worry that the ins and outs of delivering the post would feature heavily in this film, and boy, do they! and 5) Spike was the king of zany comedy, and I was looking forward to seeing him apply his talents to a relatively "straight" old-time comedy, but it doesn't seem he was able to transform (or vastly improve) the film. It's fortunate that the lovely Barbara Shelley features in this (her only comedy?), in the midst of her fantastic horror/thriller movie career. The incredible slightness of her developing romance is quite amusing in itself! The film may be kind of indefensible to anyone who didn't get into this sort of thing at an early age (unfortunately, old British films seem to have all but disappeared from the TV listings...), but it ticks the essential boxes - daft but amusing and good-natured and full of watchable faces. I like it and it will stay in my collection for life - unlike SO much great cinema...
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