Customer Review

124 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sid James Vs. Nobody :), 31 Aug 2006
This review is from: Double Bunk [1961] [DVD] (DVD)
Fans of the legendary Sid James will want to review this film solely based on him and his performance, and they can be forgiven for this because Sid was a true hero of British Film and is still admired and loved to this day. However, one of the reasons why "Double Bunk" is so brilliant is because it was made in the pre-"Carry-On", pre-"Bless This House" era in which Sid was widely known for his serious supporting roles rather than his comedic starring roles. This is not to say that Sid is not brilliant in his role, because he is...

... As I said, people will feel a need to make this film about Sid and the DVD cover proves this by having an image of Sid James and Liz Fraser (third and fourth billing respectively) with no sign of the first and second-billed stars Ian Carmichael and Janette Scott (daughter of respected actress Thora Hird). Sid's performance is funny, natural and lovable as a bird-loving car dealer who crews his friend's (Carmichael) boat along the river Thames looking for Ramsgate, before getting lost in fog and ending up in France! The humour and character that Sid displays will be recognised by his fans as similar to his other great performances, but I will appeal to you all once again to note that this film was made before any of Sid's famous comedies and should be enjoyed as an early example of his wonderful and natural talent. Sid's contribution is delightful and unselfish...

... Carmichael and Scott give entertaining (if somewhat exaggerated) performances as a newlywed couple that have been thrown out of their lodgings and are forced to purchase a houseboat, which turns out to be a bit the worse for wear. The main plot of the story is such that they take the aforementioned cruise to 'Ramsgate' to make up for the honeymoon that they never had. Carmichael was 18 years older than Scott but this does not reduce their success as a couple on screen; they had worked together before and work very well off of each other in "Double Bunk". Liz Fraser is brilliant alongside Sid, which again is not surprising because they also worked well off of each other; they got on well and were great friends, plus worked together in the later TV series "Citizen James". In terms of casting then you are in for a treat, even if you have never encountered Ian Carmichael or Janette Scott before... give them a chance!

So, what of the package itself? Well, the film is 90 mins long on a single disc and there are no special features, but the cover design is pleasing and the disc itself has the cover image and colour scheme across its face. This may not seem important, but when most DVDs these days are factory-style with only the title printed on them, the effort put into this package is evident. Also, the DVD comes with a small booklet that contains information about the film and brief biographies of the stars and supporting cast. Released in 1961, this film has a feel-good factor about it that will remind you more of the late 1950s than the early 1960s, but this is most welcome for a film that has been neglected for over 40 years. It is a great British film, with a wonderful British cast and is a nice little package... and by the way, the digital transfer is fantastic for a film of this age that has spent so much time on the shelf. A gem for your collection.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Dec 2008 14:23:53 GMT
Jcw Goddard says:
Sid's first Carry On (Carry on Sergeant) was made in 1958, preceding this by 3 years.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2009 10:18:08 BDT
A.Viewer says:
No, he wasn't in Sergeant. Sid's first Carry On was the fourth, Carry On Constable, in 1960, so thats the only Carry On he made before Double Bunk in 1961.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2011 17:04:53 GMT
UK Filmbuff says:
Spot on there!

Posted on 10 Apr 2011 13:14:02 BDT
A. Roberton says:
A brilliant review, thank you. As a lover of the old British comedies as well as anything old (40s-50s) so long as it's British, this review has made me want to add this film to my ever growing collect.
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