The Battle of the Sexes (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Battle of the Sexes (1959)

The Battle of the Sexes





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Movie Info

In this 1959 comedy, Robert MacPherson (Robert Morley) inherits his family's textile business in Edinburgh, Scotland, then hires American efficiency expert Angela Barrows (Constance Cummings) to bring the business into the modern age. The House of MacPherson has long been known as a manufacturer of fine Scottish tweed, and the company's mild-mannered head clerk, Mr. Martin (Peter Sellers), worries that the no-nonsense Barrows will ruin everything with her new-fangled ideas and eventually replace him and his co-workers with automatons. So after she installs the latest labor-saving devices, including intercoms and noisy adding machines, he sabotages them in a gradually unfolding scheme to persuade MacPherson that the old Scottish ways are still the best, that true craftsmanship requires a human touch. By this time, however, MacPherson has taken a fancy to Barrows romantically, and she can do no wrong. Then, horror of horrors, Barrows proposes that the company make synthetic tweed -- mass-produced synthetic tweed -- in an all-out effort to Americanize the Scottish firm. That's the last straw for Martin, and he thinks there is only one option left for him: to murder Barrows. Of course, meek Mr. Martin isn't exactly a natural-born killer, and he botches one attempt after another in a sequence of scenes that keep the action moving briskly along. But Martin has pluck and plenty of persistence, and he eventually hatches another plot to undo the meddlesome Barrows. The film, loosely based on a James Thurber story entitled The Catbird Seat, was directed by Charles Crichton, the same man who directed the highly successful Lavender Hill Mob. ~ Mike Cummings, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Peter Sellers
as Mr. Martin
Robert Morley
as Robert MacPherson
Constance Cummings
as Angela Barrows
Jameson Clark
as Andrew Darling
Ernst Thesiger
as Old MacPherson
Donald Pleasence
as Irwin Hoffman
Alex Mackenzie
as Robertson
James Gibson
as Night Watchman
Noel Howlett
as Mr. White
Abe Barker
as Mr. Meekie
Gordon Phillott
as Mr. Munson
Patricia Hayes
as Jeannie MacDougall
Eric Woodburn
as Wine Shop Owner
Donald Bisset
as Tobacconist
Aletha Orr
as American Wife
Sydney Keith
as American Husband
Norman Macowan
as Jock Munro
William Mervyn
as Detective's Friend
Sam Wanamaker
as Narrator
R. Meadows White
as Delivery Man
Fred Griffiths
as 1st Porter
Glyn Houston
as 2nd Porter
Robert Crewdson
as Policeman
Anne Sharp
as Usherette
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All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
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Full Review… | July 4, 2013
Empire Magazine

Full Review… | June 27, 2013

July 26, 2005

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

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