“Mon blooming dieu!” A send-up of the French Revolution, with attractive costumes and elegant staging – and just as vulgar as ever.
Don’t Lose Your Head is a beautifully constructed period piece, thanks largely to lavish stately home location shooting and particularly high production values, the film is a rip-roaring romp through the French revolution and the cinematic legacy of Leslie Howard.
The scenario, French aristos having their heads chopped off for the glory of the country, arouses the interest of a couple of foppish dandies from the stiff-upper-lipped land of gallantry and fun – England.
Michael Ward’s whimpering servant breaks down in front of his master and sobs an explanation of the French situation, and the mincing English lords (Sid James and Jim Dale) listen with wide-mouthed anguish.
A plan is brewing and when Ward informs the duo that women are getting the chop as well, the time is right for the British invasion.
The action changes from the British battling the French on their home terrain to England, with Williams et al approaching Sid at his mansion.
Finally, it’s all back to France for the dramatic climax in Williams’ luxurious mansion as his ‘beautiful things’ are quickly smashed and destroyed!
On the way, Sid and the good guys pick up the camp nobleman of Charles Hawtrey – gleefully embarking on a crusade of rapier battles – while the French have the seductive figure of Joan Sims, bubbling and giggling as the uneducated sexpot in a world of perfect manners.
Sid’s ultimate macho man finds the perfect damsel in distress in the shape of French actress Dany Robin, projecting a wisp of romantic charm and subtle acting style that blends with James’ hero to perfection.
It’s a colourful, rip-roaring historical romp through the French revolution.
Sir Rodney Ffing
Duc de Pommfrit