Shirley MacLaine stars in this otherwise all-British comedy, written by Alec Coppel and Denis Norden and directed by Joseph McGrath.
She plays Harriet, the wife of brassiere manufacturer Robert Blossom (Richard Attenborough), who manages to conceal her lover, Ambrose Tuttle (James Booth) – a sewing machine repairman who works for her husband – in the attic for three years before her husband tumbles to the situation.
Fantasy sequences take the clandestine lovers to the romantic derring-do eras of Napoleon and Charles I.
Freddie Jones and William Rushton play two idiotic Scotland Yard detectives who are searching for the missing sewing machine man. As they bumble through their investigation, foul play seems most likely and, of course, Mrs Blossom is the prime suspect.
This film is loosely based on a real incident. In the early 1920s, Dolly Oesterreich kept her lover, Otto Sanhuber in her attic for many years.
Her husband Fred ran a company that made aprons. Otto even moved with the couple from Milwaukee to Los Angeles to stay above his lover. Unfortunately, the real story didn’t have the happy ending of the movie.
The dialogue is a step above Benny Hill, but the performances lift it to the level of Noel Coward.
The cast features Patricia Routledge and Bob Monkhouse and even – albeit briefly – John Cleese, who, defying the total absurdity of the situation, manage to elicit some laughs
Det. Sgt. Dylan
Pet Shop assistant
Pet Shop saleslady
Factory Tea Lady
Post Office Clerk