Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Cool Mikado, The (1963)

Cool Mikado, The (1963)

A handful of British comedians present the worst treatment of Gilbert and Sullivan in history, with cramped sets, cheap-looking and out of place archive footage and sloppy photography.

It’s staged like a school play as the cast desperately try not to trip over each other.

The movie shoehorns in half a dozen songs from the original operetta, with lyrics completely unchanged to match the movie’s situations, so “We are gentlemen of Japan” is sung by a group of British soldiers milling around the cramped studio set and Ko-Ko is suddenly referred to as “the Executioner” so that they can sing “Behold the lord high executioner” for no apparent reason.

Tommy Cooper has the worst of the material and mugs embarrassingly, while Frankie Howerd clearly didn’t want to be there. Howerd would later comment; “Not only was it the worst film ever made, but it was the one production in show-business that I’m positively ashamed to have appeared in.”

One of the great nightmares of British cinema.

Ko-Ko Flintridge
Frankie Howerd
Judge Herbert Mikado/Charlie Hotfleisch
Stubby Kaye
Mike Winters
Bernie Winters
Pooh-Bah, Private Detective
Tommy Cooper
Ronald Fortescue
Dennis Price
Katie Shaw
Jacqueline Jones
Hank Mikado
Kevin Scott
Jill Mai Meredith
Lionel Blair
Man in Boudoir
Pete Murray
Tsai Chin
Glen Mason
Dermot Walsh
Mrs Smith
Carole Shelley
Mr Smith
C. Denier Warren
Yvonne Shima
Ho Ho
Kenji Takaki

Michael Winner