TV Cream

Films: S is for...

School for Scoundrels

Ian Carmichael is the perpetual loser always trumped by arch-cad Terry-Thomas. That is until he takes instruction from Alistair Sim and learns how to win at the titular academy. Groaning with a cast of actors we never tire of seeing – John Le Mesurier, Hattie Jacques, Gerald Campion etc – Carmichael turns in one of his best performances as he is driven to desperation by the swine TT, comes unstuck and then rallies to achieve for himself the status of bounder. Also involved are Dennis ‘Kind Hearts’ Price and Peter ‘voice of the book’ Jones as underhand car-dealing double act Dunstan and Douglas, who should surely have got a film of their own. Amongst the lofty peaks of I’m Alright, Jack and Privates Progress this is often forgotten but it deserves to be right up their alongside the very best of them, and Ian Carmichael deserves far more recognition for the superb performances he turned in for these excellent films. You don’t have to play a cripple or psychopathic maniac to be a good actor, you know.

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