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Bottoms Up (1960)

Whimsical slapstick comedy based on Frank Muir and Denis Norden’s successful radio and TV series Whack-O!

This fully blown film version sought to cash-in on the success of Jimmy Edwards’s cane-wielding headmaster but falls short of such scholastic comedies as the St Trinian’s films or the adventures of Will Hay’s Dr. Benjamin Twist.

An incompetent boarding school headmaster, Professor Jim Edwards (Edwards), devises a bizarre plot to raise the profile of Chiselbury School (according to the prospectus, an academy ‘for the sons of gentlefolk’), and thus save his job, by passing off his bookie’s son (Melvyn Hayes) as a Middle Eastern prince.

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Joining Edwards in the battle against the unruly children is the dithering deputy head, Pettigrew (Arthur Howard) – together fighting the ringleader of the students anti-caning revolt – Wendover (John Mitchell).

The headmaster’s madcap scheme is further complicated when an official from the Foreign Office arrives and announces that a real prince is to be placed under Edwards supervision – not due to the school’s lofty reputation, but because a gang of kidnappers are unlikely to look for the regal child there.

But the kidnappers do show up.

Professor Jim Edwards
Jimmy Edwards
Oliver Pettigrew
Arthur Howard
Lady Gore-Willoughby
Martita Hunt
Sid Biggs

Sydney Tafler
Garrick Jones

Raymond Huntley
Bishop Wendover

Reginald Beckwith
Matron

Vanda Hudson
Cecil Biggs

Melvyn Hayes
Colbourne

Richard Briers

Director
Mario Zampi