|School for Scoundrels (1960)
Run time: 94 min
Director: Robert Hamer, Hal E. Chester
Writers: Stephen Potter, Patricia Moyes
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim
To win the girl of his dreams, wimpy Carmichael attends a specialized school to learn the arts of “one-upmanship” and gamesmanship from schoolmaster Sim. We all win with this wonderful comedy!
Release Date: 24 March 1960 (UK)
Toronto Film Society is back in the theatre! However, we’re still pleased to continue to bring you films straight to your home! Beginning Season 73 until now we have...
This fabulous film is available on DVD at last, twinned with another Alaister Sim classic, THE GREEN MAN. But, the star of this film is the dapper TERRY-THOMAS. Every scene he is in is superb. From the suave cad in the first half of the film to the flustered toff in the second, this is one of his finest performances and stands up to repeat viewings due to his expressive faces and masterful comic timing.
I hear there is going to be a Hollywood remake of this film, which will be a huge mistake as there has been no one like T-T since. I recommend anyone who is a fan of British comedy to see this classic or you will forever be crying ‘hard cheese’!
This is the ultimate Terry Thomas film. He gets to act out being the most wonderful cad, stealing girls off poor saps arms, driving open top sports cars are a furious pace, and generally getting the chance to utter ‘hard cheese old boy’. Carmicheal is excellent, bewildered to begin with and slowly learning the dark arts of Upmanship. I implore all to see this film, as always the golden rule is – if a film as Alistair Sim in it, its got to be worth a look. Currently avialable on a 2 film DVD release, with another UK B&W comedy classic. Buy and enjoy.
I cannot remember how many times I have watched this film now – it takes me back to a time of charming English etiquette which, being too young, I never witnessed. The range of social situations through which we are taken in the apprenticeship of ‘Lifemanship’ are hilarious, and in a gentle and exquisitely-understated way. Ian Carmichael is, of course excellent, but my all-time hero, Terry-Thomas, is on the toppest of forms delivering the "Look’s like a Polish stomach pump" and "Oh I say, smashing cricket stroke" lines with his unshakeable aplomb. A nostalgic treasure of a film.
Don't hesitate: this jolly little movie is pretty much impeccable.
An excellent script, which never falters. And a BOFFO cast of British actors. The quintessential role for Terry-Thomas (tho' "Magnificent Men" is a close second).
But also fine turns from Alistair Sim, John Le Mesurier, Hugh Paddick, Peter Jones. Hattie Jacques does an hilarious voice-parody of Joan Greenwood. Janette Scott is VERY good in a thankless "skirt" role; what a charming personality.
Old car fans will love this. The sport-cars and the mocked-up vintage "Swiftmobile" are worth the price of admission alone. (Sadly, the production designer / props chaps are as yet uncredited at IMDb: perhaps the information is lost.) Very nice camera-setups. Amusingly cheesy sets. A really excellent score from John Addison that is up to Georges Auric's standard.
This has a very jolly, intimate ambiance: a sense of small scale. Feels rather like the b&w Tati movies.
Ahem. Unlike many British comedies, I can really see the attraction of remaking this: the material is so damned good that it could use another go-round, without necessarily insulting the original.