4.6/10
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12 user 3 critic

Privates on Parade (1983)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | 18 March 1983 (UK)
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The members of S.A.D.U.S.E.A. (Song and Dance Unit South East Asia) fall in and out of love while trying to dodge Malayan Communist bullets in the late 1940s. Not only that, they have to ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Blakemore

Writers:

Peter Nichols (screenplay), Peter Nichols (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Pearson Patrick Pearson ... Sergeant Steven Flowers
Michael Elphick ... Sergeant Major Reg Drummond
Joe Melia ... Sergeant Len Bonny
John Standing ... Captain Sholto Savory
Nicola Pagett ... Acting Lieutenant Sylvia Morgan
Simon Jones ... Sergeant Eric Young-Love
David Bamber ... Sergeant Charles Bishop
Bruce Payne ... Flight Sergeant Kevin Cartwright
Robin Langford Robin Langford ... Electrician
Denis Quilley ... Acting Captain Terri Dennis
Neil Pearson ... Pianist
Steve Dixon Steve Dixon ... Drummer
Jasper Jacob Jasper Jacob ... Bass Player
Leonard Preston Leonard Preston ... Trombonist
Peter Hutchinson Peter Hutchinson ... Trumpet Player
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Storyline

The members of S.A.D.U.S.E.A. (Song and Dance Unit South East Asia) fall in and out of love while trying to dodge Malayan Communist bullets in the late 1940s. Not only that, they have to contend with Bible bashing Major Giles Flack (John Cleese), who creates far more danger than any of the jungle inhabitants. Only gay Acting Captain Terri Dennis (Denis Quilley) seems to be capable of coping with him, but even he isn't aware of the cowardly Sergeant Major Reg Drummond (Michael Elphick) selling arms to the natives. Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Malaysia, 1947. Some fought. Some danced.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Angyalbőrben See more »

Filming Locations:

Malaya See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Nichols' play was inspired by his own experiences in an Army entertainment unit during the Malayan emergency. Other members of the same unit at that time included John Schlesinger, Kenneth Williams, and Stanley Baxter. See more »

Quotes

Acting Captain Terri Dennis: [dressed as Carmen Miranda, singing] Come and spend a week-a / Down in Costa Rica! / Come and lose / Your heart in Veracruz! / Think how you would bragua / In lovely Nicaragua! / That's the way to chase away the blues! / Down in old Havana, / Everything's 'manana'! / No-one work and everybody play! / How could you resist a / Weekend with Batista / The Latin American way!
See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate TV version includes some additional musical bits such as "Mad About the Boy", sang by Dennis Quilley, in the same outfit as Marlene Dietrich in "The Blue Angel", after being refused access with his sailor of the evening to the Raffles Hotel. It also has a longer end sequence (before the dance on the parade deck) about "business as usual in Singapore". See more »


Soundtracks

Mazurka
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Lehár
See more »

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User Reviews

 
not all bad ...
22 June 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

The main problem with this movie is the over-dominating personality of John Cleese, doing his authoritarian idiot stuff as he did in Fawlty Towers and earlier in Monty Python. Trouble is, in the context of a 1940s Army entertainment unit, this characterisation is just not right. A similar scenario could be seen a decade or so earlier in TV show 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum', with Windsor Davies in what is approximately the Cleese role here. Very different and much more effective.

'Privates' does however have other compensations - good within the cast are Michael Elphick, Simon Jones, Joe Melia, David Bamber, and Nicola Pagett. Best of all is the much-missed Denis Quilley as Terri, that painted captain cavorting about and by far the funniest thing on screen.


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