ALASTAIR SIM DOUBLE FEATURE #7

ALASTAIR SIM DOUBLE FEATURE #7

 

ALF’S BUTTON AFLOAT


Alf discovers that one of the buttons on his pyjamas is made from the metal of Aladdin's lamp. When he cleans it a genie (Alastair Sim) appears and it all leads to one of the wildest slapstick comedies of all times.


SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS

Ian Carmichael plays a young loser who enrolls in a "school" that specializes in teaching one-upmanship -- the slogan is "How to win without actually cheating." Through fair means and foul, Henry learns how to come out top dog in any situation, with such experts as (the real-life) Stephen Potter (Alastair Sim) as his guide

School for Scoundrels is a comic gem greatly deserving of wider exposure. Scoundrels is a rare creation, one that manages to drip with cynicism and irony yet retain a certain amount of heart.

Much of the credit goes to the deftly fashioned Peter Ustinov-Frank Tarloff screenplay, which utilizes a strong support structure on which to hang a number of beautifully realized comic episodes. The authors set every situation and gag up clearly and precisely, but without going overboard into the tiring and predictable. They clearly understand the importance of laughs brought about by character rather than just gags -- hence their ability to get big laughs from the phrase "hard cheese."

Equal credit for those laughs must go to Terry-Thomas' delivery, which brings us to the marvelous cast. Terry-Thomas has never played his lecherous cad character with such flair, and Alastair Sim plays up his impishness, his drollery, and that slightly sinister quality of his to very good effect. In most cases, they'd wipe the screen with whoever was stuck playing Palfrey, but fortunately Ian Carmichael manages to hold his ground and then some, adding the warmth and humanity that the film requires to keep on track. Scoundrels has some flaws, including direction that is satisfactory but little more, but on the whole, it is a treat.


ALASTAIR SIM DOUBLE FEATURE #7
  • Item #: 88321
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