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Hello Chit Chat Film Club students, here is your Chit Chat Film Club Film Czar, ready to discuss this week's Chit Chat Film Club Film Of The Week - I'm All Right Jack.
Spoilers spoilers, you know there must be spoilers.
A classic British satire, taking accurate shots at all sides, the workers, management and bosses, working and upper classes, and a pop at the threat of the telly, a rattling script, superb attention to detail, and an absolutely stellar cast of the cream of British comedy and character acting, A list and some B list too.
Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Richard Attenborough, Dennis Price, Margaret Rutherford, Irene Handl, Liz Fraser (oooh don't they make a lovely pair!), John Le Mesurier, Raymond Huntley, Sam Kydd, Cardew Robinson, Kenneth Griffith, Robin Ray, Terry Scott, David Lodge. Only the Carry On crew are missing from that list.
I'm All Right Jack was a follow up to a previous Boulting comedy Private's Progress, with several of the top cast reprising their roles.
It's all very sharp stuff, never a wasted moment. I especially enjoyed all the extra touches, highlighted by the sound effects punctuating the background, steam whistles blowing off, Terry-Thomas kicking the milk bottles over, Irene Handl thumping up the stairs and banging doors, the budgie tweeting away. And Waters, the time and motion man, with his constant nervy twitch.
The script is bristling with detail. The reference to working like blacks and Birmingham buses was a bullseye on the two-faced nature of the trade unionists, claiming workers rights, but explicitly voting against employing black workers, whilst the management equally talk of darkies and blacks. The colour bar ran through all levels of British life, a natural progression of the colonial Empire they all benefited from. The convoluted workings of the agreements reflected in the convoluted language of the shop steward Kite, cat-egorical, de-lin-e-ated, sit-u-ation, is a flagrant breach of the agreement hitherto. The hypocrisy of personnel manager Hitchcock, they're a shower (the workers), they're stinkers (the bosses), creeping to Tracepurcel yessir yessir then yelling at his junior, put some soap out!
And the home life of Mr and Mrs Kite. His library of the works of Lenin, she putting the tea out, and their daughter Cynthia who makes a beeline for the posh boy and buys him suspenders. Yes, chaps held their socks up with little suspenders round the calves. Are they all your own teeth? Yes, until the 1960s, poor people still had their good teeth pulled out because getting dentures was cheaper than paying for dentistry.
The mix of comedy styles is fantastic. Mostly satire, but plenty of pantomime and farce, almost obscenities (you c-c-c-c-clot!), Kite's naivety and ignorance of the truth of communism, Windrush's naivety and ignorance of the truth of working life, the word play through repetition from different voices.
And Stanley Windrush. A first class idiot, bumbling through factory after factory, tricked into a shop floor job as the stooge, tricked into working too hard (but I wasn't working harder, only faster), jumps at the chance to board with Cynthia, but as soon as aunty tells him to be loyal to his class... And finally, faced with the bribe from the odious Coxie, finally, he wakes up and tells it like it is. And his reward? Up in court and bound over for a year.
Smack bang wallop, every target hit square on.
Three cheers for Stanley Windrush!
- Last edited Mon Jul 6, 2009 12:11 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Jul 6, 2009 12:32 am