School For Scoundrels
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 who has set his cap at April, new love of Palfrey's life. In desperation Henry enrolls at the College of Lifemanship to learn how to best such bounders and win the girl.
What is at best a poorly concocted mix of slapstick comedy stylings, is made all the more underwhelming by its seeming willingness to embrace deceit and subversion in the name of being an asshole to get one's desires. I get that it is a comedy, but using such tropes to promote unwarranted sexual advances is highly problematic.
One of my go to films when I need cheering up.
The plot is nothing out of the ordinary - good guy falls for pretty girl, pretty girl is taken in by a cad and his one-upmanship tricks, good guy goes to a school for scoundrels (see, not just a throwaway title) to learn the same tricks to win the girl and get his own back on some people who have walked all over him. The performances are top notch - Carmichael is perfect as the nice guy, Terry-Thomas is spot on as the bounder and Alastair Sim is....well it's Alastair Sim - what would you expect?
I first saw this when I was 14 or so. It was on…
"Pleasant comedy drawing its laughs from caddish one-upmanship in the fight for a rather vacant young lady. Terry-Thomas was very funny, whilst Alastair Sim didn't really have enough to do. John le Mesurier and Hattie Jacques make great, but fleeting, appearances."
I saw the Billy Bob Thornton remake quite a while bback and enjoyed, and as usual with remakes its diferent in take to this one, and to be honest, while this is a good film, the way story goes in remake was better while going in a diferent place. this film though ceretainly was a sign of british filmmaking then, Ian Carmichael and Terry Thomas work well together and some good humour coming through especially when eventual tables are turned,
A very "english" B&W comedy with lots of cads, fops, rotters and utter bounders
One of my most favourite films ever. Terry Thomas and Ian Carmichael at their very very best.