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I'm All Right Jack [DVD]
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This sequel to 'Private's Progress' takes a satirical look at trade unions and labour relations. Upon leaving the army, upper class twit Windrush (Ian Carmichael) takes a job in industry. Before long he has inadvertently started a national strike, which is subsequently mishandled by everyone involved.
The 1959 I'm All Right Jack set Peter Sellers on the road to international stardom after his decade on radio in The Goons. As later in Dr Strangelove, Sellers here plays multiple roles--both Sir John Kennaway and, unforgettably, the bolshie trades-union leader Fred Kite. The result is laugh-out-loud comedy with a satirical edge, lampooning the then burning issue of industrial relations. Bertram Tracepurcel (Dennis Price) plans to make a fortune from a missile contract, a scheme that involves manipulating his innocent nephew Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael) into acting as the catalyst in an escalating labour dispute, from which the socialist Mr Kite is only too keen to make capital.
Management and labour both have their self-serving hypocrisy dissected in this ingenious comedy. It's a sequel to the 1956 Private's Progress but stands independent of the earlier film. Both films were made by the brothers John and Roy Boulting, director and producer of such British classics as Brighton Rock (1947) and Carlton-Browne of the FO (1959). The superb cast of I'm All Right Jack also features Richard Attenborough, John Le Mesurier, Margaret Rutherford and Terry Thomas. --Gary S. Dalkin
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Top Customer Reviews
This film protrays what was wrong with British Industry for most of the post-war period. Militant trade unionism operating in the face of logic and reason to a political agenda, and cynical management exploiting the old boy network for massive personal gain. And the poor worker stuck in their Victorian surroundings being exploited by both and exploiting both back by making a show of working while actually doing very little.
Now secondary 'sympathy' strikes and insider dealing are criminal offences and it is hard to belive that they were so legal for so long. We are looking at a vanished world. Thank Heavens.
Ian Carmichael is the poor sap in the middle of this film. Recruited by his uncle as a lowly shop floor worker, he unwittingly causes the management-union stalemate to collapse into industrial anarchy as he simply tries to work as efficiently as possible, something which is simply impossible in a shop floor dominated by ancient working practices, the minutest breach of which results in a strike. But a strike is exactly what his uncle wanted so an urgent order can be redirected to his buddy's factory with a whopping mark-up for him and his mates.
Things get out of hand. The nation is divided between Trade unionists and supportors of individual freedom. No-one suspects the greedy capitalists as the root of the trouble.Read more ›
Reminded me of my days as an engineering apprentice some 54, or so, years ago.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
British comedy near its best in this Boulting Brothers tour de force from 1959 parodying industrial relations at their most troubled with hilarious results. Read morePublished 9 months ago by D J F
Two very good actors were in this film PETER Sellers and I an Carmichael both had very different ways of acting.Published 18 months ago by Shirley Steadman
Absolutely brilliant - a sharp satire by the Boulting brothers on industrial relations in the 1950s, and as funny today as ever. Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2012 by D J Harries
I am assuming the readers of this brief commentary are acquainted with the details of the film from other reviews. Read morePublished on 26 Jan. 2012 by Asio flammeus
Many people think of Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther films. Forget them, the earlier the film, the better his acting.Published on 22 Mar. 2006 by Gavin R. Dyer