Private's Progress Reviews

  • May 30, 2016

    enjoyable comic romp

    enjoyable comic romp

  • Mar 14, 2013

    I think this film inspired carry on soldier

    I think this film inspired carry on soldier

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    Eric B Super Reviewer
    Jan 13, 2011

    This light, military comedy is an early hit from the Boulting brothers ("Brighton Rock," "Twisted Nerve," "The Family Way," "There's a Girl in My Soup," "Heavens Above!"). It may remind contemporary audiences of both "The Phil Silvers Show" (contraband deals and get-rich scheming) and "Stripes" (a misfit stumbles through basic training, then joins a mettle-testing mission involving a quick sneak over enemy lines). And of course, it overlaps with its more famous sequel, "I'm All Right Jack." Peter Sellers is absent from "Private's Progress," but the film does star Ian Carmichael as the same privileged, clumsily apologetic twit seen in "Jack." Multiple other actors also play repeat roles, including Terry-Thomas, Dennis Price, Kenneth Griffith and Richard Attenborough (such a sharp presence, and always so hard to connect with his later persona as a prestigious director). Oddly, the cast also includes an uncredited Christopher Lee in a small part as a German officer. The film could use a better villain -- the camp's ineffectual commanders are so wishy-washy that their dealings with the soldiers are short on comic sparks. The script also has less of the punchy social satire that distinguishes "Heavens Above!" and "I'm All Right Jack," which is unfortunate. It's mostly about gentle laughs and good fun, though a deadpan prologue about military bureaucracy scores some direct hits.

    This light, military comedy is an early hit from the Boulting brothers ("Brighton Rock," "Twisted Nerve," "The Family Way," "There's a Girl in My Soup," "Heavens Above!"). It may remind contemporary audiences of both "The Phil Silvers Show" (contraband deals and get-rich scheming) and "Stripes" (a misfit stumbles through basic training, then joins a mettle-testing mission involving a quick sneak over enemy lines). And of course, it overlaps with its more famous sequel, "I'm All Right Jack." Peter Sellers is absent from "Private's Progress," but the film does star Ian Carmichael as the same privileged, clumsily apologetic twit seen in "Jack." Multiple other actors also play repeat roles, including Terry-Thomas, Dennis Price, Kenneth Griffith and Richard Attenborough (such a sharp presence, and always so hard to connect with his later persona as a prestigious director). Oddly, the cast also includes an uncredited Christopher Lee in a small part as a German officer. The film could use a better villain -- the camp's ineffectual commanders are so wishy-washy that their dealings with the soldiers are short on comic sparks. The script also has less of the punchy social satire that distinguishes "Heavens Above!" and "I'm All Right Jack," which is unfortunate. It's mostly about gentle laughs and good fun, though a deadpan prologue about military bureaucracy scores some direct hits.

  • Oct 05, 2009

    Ian Carmichael Terry-Thomas Dennis Price You know you can't go wrong with a cast like that Don't mess with Stanley Windrush The follow up I'm All Right Jack is even better & a true British classic

    Ian Carmichael Terry-Thomas Dennis Price You know you can't go wrong with a cast like that Don't mess with Stanley Windrush The follow up I'm All Right Jack is even better & a true British classic

  • Jan 31, 2009

    Thomas may not be the central figure in this - but he's the best by a mile - "absolute shower" and "bounder" crop up in this film - often imitated never bettered.

    Thomas may not be the central figure in this - but he's the best by a mile - "absolute shower" and "bounder" crop up in this film - often imitated never bettered.

  • May 30, 2008

    Just a British classic from the Boutling brothers.

    Just a British classic from the Boutling brothers.

  • Oct 27, 2007

    A comedy classic. Pity there's no pic.

    A comedy classic. Pity there's no pic.