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Desert Mice [DVD] [1959]

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Sidney James, Dora Bryan, Alfred Marks, Liz Fraser
  • Directors: Michael Relph
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Renown Productions Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Mar. 2010
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IKKJKU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,262 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A fantastic cast star in this World War 11 comedy farce, featuring the antics of an eclectic mix of entertainers of an organisation that called itself Entertainment National Service Association. Known as ENSA for short, or, rather cruelly, Every Night Something Awful! Fresh from the music halls, they certainly give the camp the run around in more ways than one, and bumble their way to triumph!

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Through an unfortunate decision by a junior officer, the quiet life of Major Poskett (Alfred Marks) in the desert, is thwarted by the perceived need for "entertainment". This arrives in the form of Bert Bennett (Sid James) and Gay Bennett (Dora Bryan) along with their band of "artistes". After their "debut" performance, they are commissioned to entertain troops across the battlezone and, of course, they end up in trouble! Thus ends Major Poskett's "quiet life" in the war.

With Miss Patch (Irene Handl) playing a most sorrowful tune in a brothel (something that is actually extremely clever), which has everyone in tears; Sid and Dora singing cockney songs - badly - and the other entertainers with a variety of different "acts", they manage to entertain the troops. In the midst of this, Bert discovers the troops enjoy singing "Lilli Marlene" and he endeavours to find the composer. However, in the meantime, his own attempts at writing the lyrics are hardly to be called successful, but they are a witty addition to the story.

On their travels, they somehow (more through luck than anything elese) manage to find and thwart a Nazi team masquerading as British soldiers.

Completely farcical, highly entertaining and fun. It certainly isn't a "classic", but just for sheer entertainment, it is certainly worth a watch.
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I have this on VHS tape, so it was good to find it on DVD. It hasn't lost anything in the years since I last watched it. A real comedy - no swearing or bad language, Just good wholesome humour, just as a film should be.
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Quirky little story about a group of very brave people. I do not think that we have appreciated the sacrifices that these people made to entertain troops in the War Zone and try to keep up their spirits in a frightening time, this shows it admirably
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I love these old films. As an Ealing Studio Film Buff I am always on the look out for opportunities to add to my collection - and Desert Mice didn't disappoint. If you want to know more, you'll have to buy yourself a copy!
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Format: DVD
An inoffensive comic tribute to the well-intentioned but oft-ridiculed ENSA organisation of World War II, Desert Mice (1959) follows a troupe of roving entertainers on escapades around the Middle East; representative of the template (and standard) of many British comedy movies of the period, it sees a number of great character favourites such as Sidney James, Irene Handl, Liz Fraser and real-life ENSA veteran Dora Bryan give wonderfully funny supporting turns whilst bigger roles are given over to a pair of much less charismatic 'romantic leads’, in this case generic pretty blonde singer Patricia Bredin and Ian Carmichael-style well-meaning posh officer Kenneth Fortescue.
Michael Relph’s film (with its title clearly a play on that of the 1953 Richard Burton war movie The Desert Rats) is a mixture of the good and the bad. For every bit of hilarious genius like Handl reducing a brothel full of sailors to tears with her homely piano playing, we have to put up with a scene of workshy windbag Major Alfred Marks giving Fortescue another dressing down at the top of his voice, which becomes very tiresome after the seventh or eighth time. TV comedian and occasional film actor Marks actually gets top billing, and he isn’t terrible, it is just that his character is far too one-note and unsympathetic for a nominal protagonist (incidentally a criticism that can also be levelled at his playing in the only other movie in which I’ve seen him, the gory 1970 horror flick Scream and Scream Again).
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It was great to see the comic genius of Sid James. He was always the same, yet one could easily believe him in whatever role he played.
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