Having made his film debut in Ramsbottom Rides Again a year earlier, singing star Frankie Vaughan appears here in his first dramatic lead as Dave Wyman, a tough Liverpudlian tearaway who gets called up with his best friend Smiler (Ray Jackson) for their National Service in the (fictional) Loamshire Regiment of the British army.
Dave is the leader of the dockside Liverpool gang ‘the Dingle Boys’ and is well-known to the local police.
The camp bully, Private Simpson (Michael Ripper), kills Dave’s pal, Smiler, on a minefield and according to the law of the street, that means Dave needs to take revenge.
He runs away and heads back to Liverpool when he is thought to be responsible for shooting Simpson and George Baker’s Padre leads the hunt for the AWOL Dave as he flees through the streets with the authorities in pursuit.
The film borrows the best ideas, gags and situations from time-honoured mixed-up kid melodramas and square-bashing comedies and presents them against authentic backgrounds.
Carole Lesley plays Dave’s girlfriend, Dinah, and there are lots of well-known British actors in support, including John Le Mesurier, Thora Hird, Kenneth Cope and Michael Ripper. Watch out for an uncredited David McCallum in one of his earliest feature film appearances.
Vaughan sings three numbers in the film: Isn’t This a Lovely Evening?, Cold, Cold Shower and These Dangerous Years, written especially for the picture.
The film was shot at Elstree Studios and on location at Mill Hill Barracks in London, and in Liverpool. The movie was produced by Anna Neagle and directed by her husband, Herbert Wilcox.
John Le Mesurier