17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HUGELY ENJOYABLE CLASSIC SCREEN COMEDY, BORN OF ANOTHER CLASSIC,
This review is from: Some Will, Some Won't [DVD] (DVD)
The last picture put into production by Associated British / ABPC before Lord Delfont selected Sir Bryan Forbes to head-up a new 1969-71 production programme, its status as a sure-fire hit was the reason the ABPC founders (who were deposed in 1968-70 after mostly all being in place since the 1920s) knew it would raise their city profile after several years of neglecting their filmmaking front for other pursuits such as property and leisure.
They had refused Universal the rights to use it for reworking in 1964-5 - as a 'postcard London' showcase - with an entirely different and lightweight cast ensemble, and in the process of rushing it through to cinemas in what the trade called 'death bed repentance' in 1969, they threw out much of the updated late sixties elements of the script SOME WILL SOME WON'T in censure, aiming to keep a mainstream family audience for the widest possible playing in their ABC's: in this they merely reinstated whole sections of the original film screenstory from 1949, in what was originally repackaged and filmed as MORE LAUGHTER IN PARADISE.
The BBC's Duncan Wood had enthusiastically launched into movies as part of an earlier ABPC plan, only to be kept dangling when each project was delayed in favour of the 'right moment'. Likely through a rushed six-week schedule, Wood as the big screen director misses most of the possibilities to elaborate upon the familiar situations, and dreadfully cuts short others. (The Big Ben sequence at the start was supposed to run for nearly three minutes, and lasts only for a few seconds). Arthur Lowe, Stephen Lewis, Frank Thornton are merely featured for the familiarity of their faces, and raise their smiles from their own resources as they are not given anything to work with.
Rare for remakes - and as in the case of the 1978-9 Hammer/Rank remake of Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES (1938) - this stands equal with its forefather, 1950s' LAUGHTER IN PARADISE. But as the first example was one of being able to build upon an original success, this was an opportunity squandered by ABPC.
Anyone acquainted with this picture - its dream star cast and the oddball antics - will know that despite that regular lament for 'what could have been' - one's collection cannot be complete without it, and there isn't a time when one wouldn't feel like watching it over again.