Kingsley Amis might not had liked the adaptation of his novel set in a redbrick university in 1950s Britain when university education started to expand and took on some working class students. The Boulting brothers film comes across a little too much of an Ealing comedy for my liking with slapstick and loses the novel's edge.
Ian Carmichael is the northern grammar school boy made good but looking for a permanent teaching job at the university. To do this he has to toady to Professor Welch and his family and every task he is entrusted to do ends in disaster sometimes due to Jim's shortcomings.
As a lecturer Jim is passionate with a leftist slant on history in contrast with Professor Welch dull and old fashioned musings which we see when Jim has to deliver Welch's lecture.
In between we have Jim getting into escapades with Terry Thomas and his Canadian girlfriend and a slapstick scene involving a parade with flowers on the quadrant of the university.
However whilst Carmichael is spirited as Jim he looks too old, even worse Terry Thomas looks too old as the son of the Professor Welch.
The film is episodic and although starts promisingly enough it tries too hard to be an Ealing style comedy rather than a satirical adaptation. The redbrick university never convinces maybe I have seen too many of these places that were built in the 1960s.
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Jim Dixon feels anything but lucky. At the university he has to do the bidding of absent-minded and boring Professor Welch to have any hope of keeping his job. Worse, he has managed to get entangled with unexciting but neurotic Margaret Peel, a friend of the Professor's. All-in-all, the pub is the only friendly place to be. His misery is completed at a dreadful weekend gathering of the Welch clan by the arrival of son Bertrand. Not so much that Betrand is loud-mouthed and boorish - which he is - but that he has as companion Christine Callaghan, the sort of marvellous and unattainable woman Jim can only dream about.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 18, 2022 at 03:41 AM