Don Chaffey’s A Matter Of WHO is one of Terry-Thomas’ most offbeat films.
That doesn’t mean it’s good, simply that the unusual nature of the picture and his inimitable style make tolerable entertainment out of a movie idea which seems intended to be a comedy, a thriller and a quasi-documentary and ends up being nothing particularly impressive.
Terry-Thomas plays Archibald Banister, a ‘germ detective’ of WHO (the World Health Organisation), whose efforts to find the carrier of smallpox involve him in the oil business – represented by the partner (Alex Nicol) of the oil geologist who had died of the disease on a plane trip to London.
The story is interesting and conducive to mild tension under Chaffey’s direction.
The screenplay by Milton Holmes allows the terribly British hero to get around in a marvellous Austin Seven Tourer of great age, be ingratiating even when he’s not funny and become engaged in a superb showdown in the Swiss Alps.
Alex Nicol gives him good support, so does Richard Briers as Bannister’s assistant, Jamieson. Sonja Ziemann plays Michelle, the widow of the dead oil man.
The cast also includes Honor Blackman, Guy Deghy and Carol White.
The John Barry Seven