George Cole in 'Laughter in Paradise' (1951) Dec 17, 2017 18:08:56 GMT gustav, pr1, and 1 more like this
Post by jno on Dec 17, 2017 18:08:56 GMT
Laughter in Paradise (1951)
Courtesy of the kind fellow forum members at the Cornish Film Archive I treated myself to this film this afternoon.
When a famous practical joker Henry Russell (Hugh Griffith) passes away, his four cousins are set to inherit his fortune. However, in order to do so they must complete one final practical joke for him. However, they are sworn to secrecy, and if anyone (even their loved ones) finds out about their designated task, they will lose any claim to their individual 50,000 pound share.
George Cole plays the youngest cousin Herbert Russell. Herbert is a timid bank teller whose designated task is to hold up his bank's own manager in order to prove he can overcome his shyness and finally stand up for himself.
This film has four stories running alongside one another and now and again there are small crossovers in the plots, where each of the cousins accidentally might stumble upon one of the others by sheer fate.
The funniest of the four stories for me revolves around Alastair Sim's character Deniston Russell. He is a former army captain, whose designated task is to get himself put into prison for 28 days. However, when he's due to be married in 2 weeks to a high ranking female army officer who is the daughter of a well known judge, this really isn't going to be easy - especially when he has to keep it a secret.
In fairness, the number of laugh out loud moments in this film were zero for me. Nevertheless, this is an extremely likeable and enjoyable picture where there is a very decent story line, some good humour going on and some top acting from start to finish. The simultaneous story lines are all very good, all with a decent moral behind them. My only criticism would be that to me it seemed Alastair Sim got more screen time than the other three.
Some famous faces in this, first up Hugh Griffith who was in loads of things over the years and I know from the Welsh Rugby film 'Grand Slam' (1978). You'll also find Veronica Hurst who was in a stack of ITC stuff over the years including 'Man In A Suitcase' I believe. Then there's Colin Gordon, Joyce Grenfell who starred alongside George Cole in the St Trinian's films and a great performance from Guy Middleton. Of all the faces in this though, I think it is fair to say that Alastair Sim is clearly the star of this film (as the poster above would suggest).
Watch out for a certain Audrey Hepburn too.
7/10 - overall, a very entertaining 1 hour and 32 minutes this film, not rib-ticklingly funny but an solid humorous film well worth a watch, but I could predict the ending. Neverthless, tune in, sit back and enjoy this one!
According to the Wikipedia page for this film, it was the fourth most popular film at the British box office in 1951.
IMDB link: www.imdb.com/title/tt0043727/
Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter_in_Paradise