The 1959 I'm All Right Jack
set Peter Sellers on the road to international stardom after his decade on radio in The Goons
. As later in Dr Strangelove
, Sellers here plays multiple roles--both Sir John Kennaway and, unforgettably, the bolshie trades-union leader Fred Kite. The result is laugh-out-loud comedy with a satirical edge, lampooning the then burning issue of industrial relations. Bertram Tracepurcel (Dennis Price) plans to make a fortune from a missile contract, a scheme that involves manipulating his innocent nephew Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael) into acting as the catalyst in an escalating labour dispute, from which the socialist Mr Kite is only too keen to make capital.
Management and labour both have their self-serving hypocrisy dissected in this ingenious comedy. It's a sequel to the 1956 Private's Progress but stands independent of the earlier film. Both films were made by the brothers John and Roy Boulting, director and producer of such British classics as Brighton Rock (1947) and Carlton-Browne of the FO (1959). The superb cast of I'm All Right Jack also features Richard Attenborough, John Le Mesurier, Margaret Rutherford and Terry Thomas. --Gary S. Dalkin
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Black & White, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Set in the 1950s in Britain, this award-winning social comedy by director and co-writer John Boulting features Ian Carmichael as the inept Stanley Windrush, a hopeless twit with -- we are to believe -- an Oxford degree. Unlike others in his social circle, Stanley wants to work. When he tries out for jobs in industry with the full expectation of working his way into a management position, he sets off disasters and alienates his interviewers. So his uncle gives him a job in his munitions factory, knowing what an idiot he is, and relying on him to eventually cause a strike (the uncle needs this for his own reasons). Fred Kite (Peter Sellers in a performance that would launch him as an international star) takes Stanley under his wing yet that does not exactly turn out as expected either. Stanley screws up by accidentally being too efficient, and the entire British work force is affected. If one can accept a portrayal of factory workers as shiftless men unwilling to work, and managers as good 'ole boys whose jobs are gained only by networking, then this film will be all the more entertaining. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...I'm All Right Jack