The Naked Truth (a.k.a. Your Past is Showing) (1957)

The Naked Truth (a.k.a. Your Past Is Showing) (1957)

Run time: 91 min
Rating: 6.9
Genres: Comedy
Director: Mario Zampi
Writers: Michael Pertwee
Stars: Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Peggy Mount
Dennis Price is a blackmailing publisher of a tawdry, exposé magazine. Among his targets are Peter Sellers, a nasty TV personality; Terry-Thomas, a racketeering peer; and Peggy Mount, a highly respected novelist. In attempting to sidetrack the slimeball, the laughs come thick and fast in this hilarious satire.
Release Date: 18 December 1957 (France)

4 responses to “The Naked Truth (a.k.a. Your Past is Showing) (1957)”

  1. IMDBReviewer says:

    Apparently released both as "The Naked Truth" and "Your Past Is Showing" (the name on the title card and title I remember in the U.S. run), this bustling little comedy about tabloid blackmailer is still jolly good fun going on 50 years later. Credit an amusing script and some fine casting that captures a gaggle of top-flight ’50s British comedy talent in top form. Terry-Thomas and a young Peter Sellers (filmed here just before he gained fame with "The Mouse That Roared") are at the pinnacle of their Brit-comedy game and are ably abetted by the redoubtable Peggy Mount, luscious Shirley Eaton (a few years before her turn as the "golden girl" in "Goldfinger"), a caddish Dennis Price (as the oily blackmailer) and assorted classic British comedy stars, a number of whom seem to have had recurring bits in the "Carry On" series. The humor here is not as low and juicy as the "Carry On"s or as high and dry as the classic Ealing Studio Ealing comedies of the period – a pleasing mix. By contemporary standards, the film is a little slow – especially the set-up through the opening reels – but it all pays off very nicely with an avalanche of chuckles and a few great belly laughs. Keep a close eye on Sellers: although he plays a single character (a cheesy TV variety show emcee), he dons multiple disguises through the film, warming up for future roles in "Mouse" and "Dr. Strangelove" (where he played three parts in each) and those later "Pink Panther" comedies.

  2. IMDBReviewer says:

    This is a wonderfully English tale of Blackmail, Attempted Murder and various other dirty deeds, Terry Thomas, playing the kind of upper-class Scoundrel that he does so well absolutely classic . And the crooked game-show host superbly underplayed by a pre Hollywood Peter Sellers who is definitely at his peak , The scenes with Kenneth Griffith as his camp disapproving dresser are sheer class (this is the first of the five or six films they made together). The scene where Sellers slides effortlessly into the Irish character demonstrates perfectly his genius.

    Dennis Price is wonderfully cast as the smarmy blackmailer who bites off more than he can chew when he attempts to expose the main characters dodgey pasts.

    The only flaw for me is Peggy Mount, she just doesn’t seem comfortable with the character and never really settles in. But this is a small moan about what is a delightfully entertaining film.

  3. IMDBReviewer says:

    A particularly impressive and downright screwball Ealing farce. Not sure if it was made in Ealing, but it seems like it. It’s such a shame that with the advent of "Kitchen Sink" gritty realism, beginning in the late ’50s, Britain just seemed to stop making movies that were charming and fun. Our flair for droll comedy dried up in the ’60s and give or take Mike Leigh’s work, "Orphans" or "Withnail & I", hasn’t returned. The characters are so well defined, with master character actor Peter Sellers again showing his virtuoso talents for adopting various persona. Terry-Thomas and the smooth Dennis Price are brilliantly assured with the material, but Sellers does steal the show, portraying a cynical yet whimsical celebrity perfectly. I love the bit where he does the Irish accent, and cliched talk and the Irishmen react with bemusement. This is only the second film I’ve seen with Sellers (Dr Strangelove being the illustrious other), but it seems few can match his acting range and comic touch. It would seem that "The Naked Truth" has been, to some extent, forgotten. A state of affairs as farcical as the film. Rating:- **** (out of *****)

  4. IMDBReviewer says:

    This film solidified Peter Sellers’ stardom as a comic actor of the first rank. He had appeared in other films prior to it, but THE LADYKILLERS was the only one prior to this that showed him to any advantage, as an inept "teddy boy" type.

    Here he is "Wee Sonny MacGregor" a popular young entertainer on television, whose variety show has mostly elderly viewers who think of Sonny as the son or grandson they always dreamed about. Unfortunately for Sonny, one Nigel Dennis (Dennis Price) publishes "THE NAKED TRUTH", a tell all scandal sheet like "Confidential" or (despite their disclaimers) "The Enquirer". Mr Dennis has a nice, somewhat legal, offer. If you will help defray the expenses of his magazine, he will refrain from publishing details of what you don’t want known. In his best, intelligent scoundrel style, Price reveals to dear "Wee Sonny" that he knows about the large amounts of rent money "Wee Sonny" has been making with some rotting tenements in London. The audience for "Wee Sonny" would not feel very comfortable with his image knowing about this.

    Price has similar pieces of information regarding Peggy Blount, playing an "Agatha Christie" novelist – apparently one of her plots may not have been so original. Also Terry-Thomas, as Lord Mayley, is not as respectable as he lets on – he seems to have had several affairs his wife does not know of (although Georgina Cookson – Lady Mayley – has her occasional suspicions). Soon all three are considering the last resort for dealing with blackmail – doing in the blackmailer. Their problems are more than dealing with a brainy adversary. Blount tries to commit a murder (after all she’s an expert in killing as a creative writer), only to come a cropper (all I’ll say is Price ups his demands for payment as a result). Terry-Thomas seems to keep stumbling into the schemes of Blount and Sellers, to his own discomfort.

    Best is Sellers though – he is certain he can commit the perfect murder because he is a "master of disguise". His assistant Kenneth Griffith keeps warning him that he has a tendency to overact, but "Wee Sonny" dismisses this. He tries to spy out Price playing an elderly dock expert, and only annoys the latter and makes Terry-Thomas suspicious. He flusters a gun shop owner by appearing as an Edwardian style country squire ordering enough ammunition for a regiment, not for a hunt. My favorite moment is when he tries to impress possible IRA members by speaking to them (as a fellow member) in perfect Welsh.

    How they finally get rid of Price and his demands is as funny as one can expect, given the rest of the film. It is a comedy that will pay handsome dividends of laughter.

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