Customer Reviews


72 Reviews
5 star:
 (59)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and the best--believe it!
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...
Published on 22 Aug 2010 by L. E. Cantrell

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
wrong cd arrived
Published 5 days ago by lee edwards


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and the best--believe it!, 22 Aug 2010
By 
L. E. Cantrell (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
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. In this case, we find Ian Carmichael, the sometime upper class twit and eternal everyman/nobody; the perpetually devious, always eccentric Alistair Sim and that outrageous bounder of bounders, scene-stealing, gap-toothed Terry-Thomas.

The story is a very simple one. A pleasantly likeable human worm, Carmichael, is getting the social stuffing kicked of him by a cad and bounder, Terry-Thomas (and just about everybody else in the world, too.) Realizing that he can't possibly prevail in a fair fight, the worm applies to the school run by Sim, who appears as Professor Potter, the philosopher-king of scoundrels. After a suitable course of instruction, the worm turns. The result, needless to say, generates real laughs. Even a bronze statue would have to smile at Terry-Thomas getting his comeuppance. ("Oh, hard cheese, old man.") And the manner in which an officious office manager is brought heel by Carmichael and Sim is an absolutely delicious little throw-away scene.

This is one of the true gems of the great period of British filmed comedy.

Five stars? Oh, I say, rather!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 "filmbuff1382" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Comedy at its finest, 15 Mar 2004
By 
Paul T Horgan (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A product of its time, 16 July 2000
By 
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughsmanship!, 17 Feb 2009
By 
F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
At the hands of anyone other than this cast of stellar actors, "School for Scoundrels" would constitute lightweight fare, perhaps worthy of an amusing television sitcom. With players of the calibre of Alistair Sim, Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, and Dennis Price, however, the film still sparkles with laughter, as so many of the British comedies of the Fifties and Sixties did.

Alistair Sim chews the scenery with his usual panache, and delights in the process. Ian Carmichael is charming as the milquetoast twit who learns "lifesmanship" from Sim and emerges victorious over the caddish Terry-Thomas in pursuit of the girl, played with charm by Janette Thomas; and Dennis Price, undertaking a more supporting role than usual, pours his smooth brand of snake-oil onto one half of the Winsome Welshmen--a pair of unscrupulous London used-car salesmen; they foist a white elephant of an automobile on Carmichael, whose revenge on them, with Sim's aid, is splendid to behold.

I was afraid that the comedy might have lost some of its sparkle in the ensuing years, but it has not. It is still full of good fun and laughter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REFRESHINGLY INNOCENT & FUNNY FILM IN THIS CYNICAL AGE., 1 Nov 2000
Having watched this film thirty times or more over many years I have never failed to laugh, applaud or sometimes even squirm at the brilliant performances of Carmichael & co. The black and white photography adds to the charm while the pacing of the film never flags, but it is the quality of the acting which for me sets the film apart from light comedy films of more recent times. Enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard cheese old boy !, 15 Nov 2009
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Hard cheese old boy !

If you are a fan of British comedy films this is for you. I am just about old enough to remember 1960 but I love the fact that there are no cars around and everyone spoke so nicely and the British countryside was unsullied by supermarkets and fast food outlets.

The cast is great and they have all appeared in loads of British comedies. You wonder if the director just told them to play the same character they did inthe last film. If you like Terry Thomas and Ian Carmichael pretty well reprising their roles in films like "I'm Alright Jack" then this is for you.

Alistair Sim always has such a sad face.

They are of course satires but is never looks as though anyone actually did any work and even the workers of Ian Carmichael's firm are happy to skive when the boss comes in.

He meets the girl of his dreams but has to learn how to woo her so he enrolls in the school of Lifemanship run by Alistair Sim. Janette Scott looks really good in her 1950s fashions ( trivia buffs have to know she is the daughter of Thora Hird)

He learns the ploys and effectively sorts out the rotter Terry Thomas. He has a fit of conscience and lets the girl know but she still loves him.

All the supporting actors are great from Hattie Jacques to Irene Handl, Peter Jones and Dennis Price.( as the spiv car salesmen)

A great slice of how Britain used to be. The story line if clever and the skills Ian Carmichael learnt are even more applicable today Many of the ploys ar4 reminiscent of Sgt Bilko who could always turn something to his advantage. I remember him getting gorgeous women begging to marry Private doberman, worthy of the school of Lifemanship
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film, 18 Feb 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Alastair Sim is hilarious. Terry-Thomas is perfect. Ian Carmichael is also perfectly cast.

All of the cast of characters - even if they only have one scene - or even one line - are truly memorable and quotable.

Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terry Thomas's finest hour, 6 May 2004
By A Customer
I'm not usually the type of person to watch this sort of film with little known stars (not Terry Thomas of course!) but my husband was recommended by a friend to watch it. I'm glad we did!
Terry Thomas is the typical english bounder who always tries to get the girl. Ian Carmichael (who I must admit I had never heard of before) is a brilliant lead role in trying to upstage Terry by learning how to be like him but in his own way. But as my title says Terry Thomas steals the show. My favourite bit? Playing tennis and Terry Thomas's exclamations of "Hard Cheese" and "Ready now?" always makes my laugh. A brilliant film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960]
School For Scoundrels [DVD] [1960] by Robert Hamer (DVD - 2006)
£7.80
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews