Hapless Henry Palfrey is patronised by his self-important chief clerk at work, ignored by restaurant waiters, conned by shady second-hand car salesmen, and, worst of all, endlessly wrong-footed by unspeakably rotten cad Raymond Delauney.
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An enjoyable old-fashioned comedy. A very upper class English lesson in how to shake off being a loser and instead win at tennis, get the smart car, the fine lady and become a smooth cad and bounder. As a teen I used the dirty rotten gamesmanship model at tennis to beat a much better player, with the help of two Chinese friends as spectators. And i look back now with not an ounce of regret or shame.
Typical in most respects: oneupmanship whimsy from writer Potter; stock playing from seasoned players in British cinema’s dotage and utterly predictable through-and-through. That’s not to say it’s unenjoyable, as it isn’t, offering a warm cup of cocoa and a rose tinted monocle on a radically different recent past. It lacks the bite and bounce of the Boulting Brothers works however.
One of my adds! I was surprised to find this one missing from Mubi, since it features the quintessential Terry-Thomas performance. (And the rest of the cast ain't too shabby either.) It's one of those very British dark comedies that manages to feel remarkably light and breezy.
Having seen Private’s Progress and I’m All Right, Jack! recently, I was worried that I was overdoing it with Ian Carmichael’s nice-but-dim schtick. However, I must admit that the Boulting Brothers knew they had a good thing going with this lot.