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School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960]

Ian Carmichael , Terry-Thomas , Cyril Frankel , Hal E. Chester    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
Price: 8.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960] + The Green Man [DVD][1956] + The Happiest Days Of Your Life [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim, Janette Scott, Dennis Price
  • Directors: Cyril Frankel, Hal E. Chester, Robert Hamer
  • Writers: Hal E. Chester, Patricia Moyes, Stephen Potter
  • Producers: Hal E. Chester, Douglas Rankin
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Oct 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HEZ7KW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,749 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



In School for Scoundrels wimpy Ian Carmichael wants to impress girls and get one over on all-round show-off and cad Terry Thomas (playing gloriously to type). Discovering Alastair Simms' unorthodox school Carmichael happily enrols and learns the quaint tricks of the day for securing the admiration of a fair lady. Ultimately as a star pupil he teaches the Master a thing or two about true love when everything turns out just fine in the end. Appealing to all male sensibilities is the idea of a magical set of simple rules for winning someone's affections. Set in the tweed-rich environment of an English boarding school makes this an even quainter notion. To watch this classic comedy is to cock one's snoot at womanisers everywhere while unavoidably making a mental list of anything that might actually work! The three central performances are brilliantly realised, particularly the role reversal between Carmichael and Thomas. Try playing a tennis match after a viewing without calling "hard cheese". -Paul Tonks

Product Description

Henry Palfrey (Ian Carmichael) is one of life's losers. Despised and disregarded at work, his prospective girlfriend April (Janette Scott) is whisked from under his nose by charming bounder Raymond Delauney (Terry-Thomas). In desperation, Henry enrols at Stephen Potter's (Alastair Sim) College of Lifemanship, where he gradually learns how to get one up on the other fellow.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He, who is not one up, is one down! 23 Nov 2006
By UK Filmbuff TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A fun portrayal of how to get on in life. What a cast, too! Alastair Sim, Terry Thomas, Ian Carmichael, Hattie Jacques, to name but a few.

When Ian Carmichael literally runs into the girl of his dreams, he is swept off his feet. However, he soon loses her to the eternal "bounder" Terry Thomas, who always seems to have the edge on him! Even down to buying a car ("It looks like a Polish stomach pump"), in order to impress the young lady, poor Henry Palfrey (Ian Carmichael) just doesn't have what it takes. Until, that is, he enrols in the school of Lifemanship, run by none other than Alastair Sim.

As you would expect from such an impressive line-up of stars, this is definitely a film not to be missed. John Le Mesurier even gives a small, but convincing part as the Matre d', whose ears wiggle when he hears the sound of a Pound note being crumpled behind him, to attract his attention!

If you're feeling that life is always dealing you a bad hand, you should seriously consider joining the Shool of Lifemanship; you might enrol for their Interpolated Accountancy class, or even their Wooemanship class! Either way, if you watch this film, you won't be a loser! ("He, who is not one up, is one down!")

A lot of what is portrayed, is very true to life and even more relevant, even in today's bustling, insincere and two-faced society!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and the best--believe it! 22 Aug 2010
This brilliant British comedy from 1960 recently suffered the cruel indignity of having its title applied to a crude, Americanized, lobotomized, piece of tripe. Put the remake out with the other trash; this is the only version for anyone who has risen above the rank of teen-aged slacker.

In the 1950s, America was periodically entranced by consecutive series of amusing and light-weight books of English social observations and "philosophy." There was, for example, C. Northcote Parkinson's "Parkinson's Law." Parkinson was a perfectly respectable naval historian who had noticed that as the number of ships in the Royal Navy had decreased after World War II, the number of people to support them, most particularly admirals, had increased. His "Law" was simply that work expanded to fill time and he provided many hilarious examples from contemporary British life to prove it. He followed that book up with a second one that was nearly as successful, called "In-laws and Outlaws." It was about, well, in-laws and outlaws. Someone else produced books on "U" and "Non-U" (upper class and not upper class--very, very British, that.) Perhaps the best-known of the bunch, however was Stephen Potter's "One-Upmanship" which created a new verb (or at least firmly re-established an older one) in the English language: to one-up.

Such was the popularity of the notions in the book, that very little time was lost before some bright spark wrapped a story around them and put them on the screen. The only surprise about the whole enterprise is how very, very skillfully it was done. Besides clever writers, the British film industry in those days boasted of a matchless stable of character actors, high comedians, low comics and farceurs. These were men and women who could put a hilarious polish on anything.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Comedy at its finest 15 Mar 2004
By Paul T Horgan VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
This film is a showcase of British Post-war film making and the stars and production values that made it this way. Sims, Carmichael and Thomas excel in their roles as teacher, pupil and cad in this superb visualisation of Stephen Potter's writings on One-Upmanship. The film itself is stuffed full of stars of the era, Peter Jones, Hattie Jacques and Irene Handl to name but three. There isn't a duff performance from anyone.
Carmichael plays his usual middle-class English male marooned in a sea of indifference, power struggles and self-interest. However he has help this time. Guided by the wit and wisdom of Alastair Sim, he gains strength, confronts and battles his real-life demons to win the girl (played by Janette Scott, real-life daughter of the late Thora Hird).
I never cease to wonder at the ignorance of people who point-blank refuse to watch a movie just because it is shot in black and white. It saddens me that they deny themselves the pleasure of viewing classics like this.
This film is an excellent introduction to the genre of the British post-war film comedy. Buy it, buy it now.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A product of its time 16 July 2000
Format:VHS Tape
One of the best comedies of its time.The notion of a school that teaches "How to win,without really Cheating".The cast is magnificent Alistair Sim perfect as Mr Potter. The beautiful way Ian Carmichael turns the tables on the dodgy car salesman is wonderful to watch. take my advise buy this film and enjoy
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to be a rotter in an hour and a half 20 Feb 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Any film that has both Alastair Sim and Terry-Thomas must have a head start above most others, and this beauty of oneupmanship is no exception. Throw in Ian Carmichael as the downtrodden hero and the stage is set for a sparkling comedy of manners and social standing. Sim is the cynical principal at a school teaching the arts of getting one over your rival. Carmichael enrols to prove himself beter than the worldly T-T, and slowly becomes a bigger bounder than our gap-toothed fave. Full of great performances, a witty script and a memorable cameo from Dennis Price and Peter Jones, this is one of the great Ealingesque comedies that we used to do so well. And if it only does one thing, it will teach you how to get the other fellow to pay for dinner.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Very good film highly entertaining
Published 22 hours ago by neil de bremaeker
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it so much I watched it twice.
Stumbled across this gem of a British comedy because it was on Prime Instant Video.

Great film, great cast, how did I miss this film for so many years? Read more
Published 26 days ago by Ludy
5.0 out of 5 stars A sublime British comedy!
Ever since I first saw this film as a child, I have adored it. It is not just, as so many others have commented here, the presence of the most glittering array of British... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Thamesis
5.0 out of 5 stars halima
Brilliant film I first watched when I was younger with my mum. Ian Carmichael is hilarious and Terry Thomas on top form !! Read more
Published 4 months ago by H. Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
It maybe 50 years old but Terry Thomas was unique and there has never been another like him.

The perfect example of "upper class Cad" A totally fake "Gentleman"... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A.Sud
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic Masterpiece
It's in monochrome but so what.

One of the funniest movies ever made with a good helping of the old fashioned moral lesson that cheats never prosper! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dr. Gary D. Gorton
5.0 out of 5 stars good laughs
would reccomend this film although an old film it is always good to watch cheers you up terry thomas always good for a laugh
Published 5 months ago by dawn smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
One of my favourite films and such good recording I did enjoy watching the film the best I have got
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Y N Howton
5.0 out of 5 stars If Only ...
Everyone should have this classic movie. If only I went to the School of Lifemanship instead of Grammar School then maybe life would have been much more fun. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Somerset
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie - great service.
Thank you for the on time delivery and excellent packaging. This great dvd fulfilled our requirements by a far. We hope to trade with you again.
Published 8 months ago by Deltahero
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