Make Mink Mine (1960)
Cert: U > Duration: 96 Mins Approx > Retired major Terry -Thomas, ex-con Billie Whitelaw, eccentric dowager Athene Seyler and disgruntled teacher of etiquette Hattie Jacques are among the peculiar residents of a boarding house who turn into modern day Robin Hoods, stealing fur for charity
Too Many Crooks (1958)
Cert: U > Duration: 82 Mins Approx > A gang of incompetent crooks (George Cole, Sid James, Bernard Bresslaw) unsuccessfully attempt to rob Terry Thomas's tight-fisted millionaire but then decide to kidnap his daughter instead. A likeable farce with a marvellous cast of familiar British faces including John Le Mesurier and Terry Scott
The Naked Truth (1957)
Cert: U > Duration: 88 Mins Approx > A fast-paced black comedy, which was an early, hit for Peter Sellers. He joins Terry Thomas, Shirley Eaton, Joan Sims and Peggy Mount as a group of celebrities and VIPs who are being blackmailed by the sleazy editor (Dennis Price) of a scandal rag called "The Naked Truth". Terry-Thomas is delightful as the shifty Lord of the Realm. All three titles have been digitally re-mastered and collectably packaged - a must for comedy fans.
The three films in this Terry Thomas Collection
--The Naked Truth
, Too Many Crooks
and Make Mine Mink
--are each an unalloyed delight from beginning to end. Though produced on slim budgets they possess witty scripts by Michael Pertwee, deft direction in two instances by Mario Zampi, inventive music scores and marvellous casts featuring two generations of British actors, from Athene Seyler to a young Kenneth Williams. Individually and as an ensemble these players are a pleasure to watch. But of course Terry Thomas, the catalyst of the collection, runs the gamut with a plethora of facial expressions, body language and verbal repartee that contribute so much to the unbuttoned joy of each film.
In the earliest of them, The Naked Truth (1957), TT plays a dodgy peer of the realm being blackmailed in the company of Peter Sellers, Peggy Mount and Shirley Eaton by a gutter press journalist, Dennis Price ("Don't try to appeal to my better nature, because I haven't one"). The moments of slapstick are brought off to a tee as when the larger-than-life Peggy Mount attempts a suicide drop from her window to be saved by an awning on a shop front.
Too Many Crooks (1959) has TT being blackmailed once again, this time for the hoards he's stashed away as a renowned tax dodger. Look out for the very funny court scene, where TT makes three appearances on separate charges, before a bemused magistrate, John Le Mesurier.
Make Mine Mink (1960), the odd one out in this collection, was adapted from a West End stage farce, Breath of Spring. TT leads a gang of middle-aged biddies who decide to brighten up "the dullness of the tea time of life", by staging a series of robberies on furriers, then donating the proceeds to charitable concerns. The splendid cast includes Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams.
On the DVD: The Terry Thomas Collection comes in an attractive box containing the three discs. All are 4:3 ratio and with mono sound. The only extras are a trailer for each film which, in the instance of Make Mine Mink, is introduced by Terry Thomas himself, who presents us to his gang of fur thieves as the voice on the soundtrack announces him as "fur, fur funnier than you've seen him before". --Adrian Edwards