Spare a Copper
A right bleedin’ berk in the War Reserve police force struggles along to make the grade, meets a girl, fails the flying squad motorcycle test spectacularly, gets utilized by saboteurs, goes on the run, saves the day and gets the girl, as well as the motorcycle (with sidecar).
H.M.S. Hercules, to be launched at Birkenhead, is the target battleship.
“Lucrative... convoluted... unwieldy and overly complex... squandered”, says Vic Pratt of the British Film Institute. “Everything percolating as it should,” says ‘Alliwell.
Dancing with Crime
A lowly cabdriver, still in his kit with battle ribbons (hero at Tobruk) though his sergeant stripes are off, finds a crooked chum dead in his cab and investigates a certain Palais-de-Danse in Camberwell, center of a crime ring.
English critics pooh-pooh this as “conventional”, turning a blind eye to a particularly brilliant film by a spectacularly able director whose specialty here is the psychological, the unspoken, revealed in a look or a tone of voice. An awful lot of Hitchcock touches are there, details like the hungry kids gaping through the window at diners on fish and chips, and the sergeant from Scotland Yard accosted by a dance hostess. “Excuse me,” she says, “are you dancing?”
“No,” he replies, “it’s just the way I walk.”
Man Of The Moment
Even the beauteous international film star is up to no good, a Brodnian agent so please you, as the powers maneuver toward an empty place in the sea called Mahoola, with nowt to its name but a volcano, and that extinct, yet the Queen of Tawaki won’t have any part of her domain lose its cherished way of life, and so, at an international conference in Geneva, a file clerk from the Ministry of Overseas Affairs in London becomes the title character, loses interest in his idol of showbiz, wins the girl of his dreams and a knighthood and the Brodnian Order of the Blue Dahlia, easy as falling down.
Jumping for Joy
The chap who cleans up the track for the dogs is given the sack after riding the rabbit by misadventure, he buys a greyhound bitch for two quid, it’s been doped, the owner wants to put it down.
His landlady throws him out, he meets a penniless chevalier d’industrie and a nasty villain, the dog recovers and wins the Golden Bowl.
A film in various styles through the Forties and Thirties back to silent films.
The Big Money
It is in counterfeit, a young man’s fancy. The gang is headed by a con man disguised as a clergyman.
The young man unexpectedly burdened by these riches is the stammering scion of a roguish family all thieves and respectable suburbanites. His girl the barmaid wants a good time, posh.
A great master of comedy is Carstairs in the well-breathed American manner of Technicolor and VistaVision quite beautifully realized as a setting for his English gem.
A maharajah’s suite at the Grand, the girl in for dinner, the faux clergyman met at Ascot...
With its visiting Arab prince and the Australian uranium swindle, a foreglimpse of John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (dir. J. Lee Thompson).
Britmovie, “sadly let-down by a weak script.” Halliwell’s Film Guide, “none of the jokes comes off.”
A Weekend with Lulu
“There, there,” says the calm Englishman to an energetic and unintelligible policeman in France whilst handing him an ice cream from the company van he and a pal have borrowed for the title venture with Deirdre the calm Englishman’s intended and eke her mother, a seaside holiday gone astray in the night and now foundering on the Continent, “suck it!”
This depends on the mighty comedic frame of Irene Handl even as Asquith’s The Importance of Being Earnest on Edith Evans (Eric Sykes abstracts her and her “little Gaylord, I don’t want him to blot his little copybook” to the frozen limit in It’s Your Move). Then there is the Pharaonic adventure at the Count’s château that gives Mrs. Bell a right bit of déja vu, “isn’t this a stately home? A bob-a-nob place.”
“Where’s this food,” she wearily asks at Champigneulles, “I’m ravishin’!” Downstairs at the restaurant M. le Conte, upstairs chez Madame Bon-Bon, a proper bordel and no mistake. Booking the air ferry from Trouville, “I say, a coot...” Pennington-Richards has Handl and Sid James for a stately consideration of the material (Double Bunk), Carstairs takes his Tour de France from The Happy Road (dir. Gene Kelly). The Flying Corsican of the flying squad and his uniformed driver later promoted into Inspector Clouseau (Graham Stark no less) are a pleasant memory so please you of Citizen Chauvelin. The deus ex machina is by way of William A. Seiter in Mexico (Borderline).
Britmovie, “breezy farce spiced with Gallic wisecracks”. TV Guide, “enjoyable comedy”. Eleanor Mannikka (All Movie Guide), “standard British comedy of the absurd”.