In The Doghouse follows the misadventures of kindhearted but bumbling new veterinarian Jimmy Fox-Upton (Leslie Phillips) who eventually graduates after 10 years of trying.
He buys a run-down practice in a poor area and juggles a high caseload and a complex love life – with glamorous nightclub performer Sally Huxley (Peggy Cummins) and her mischievous chimp – while dealing with boorish rival Bob Skeffington (James Booth) who is fleecing the rich in an elegant veterinary practice (complete with hairdryers for pekes and psychiatric couches for mixed-up pugs) and has a scheme to export old horses to France for their meat.
The laughs come from Fox-Upton’s dealings with the locals.
Keep an eye out for Hattie Jacques, Esma Cannon, Dick Bentley, Joan Hickson, Vida Hope, Peggy Thorpe-Bates, Fenella Fielding and Patsy Rowlands.
The film was based on the reminiscences of Alex Duncan, who did for vets what Richard Gordon did for doctors.
He wrote four books, A Vet’s Life, which the film is based on, then Vet in Congress, Vets in the Manger, and Vets in the Belfry.
Leslie Phillips passed away on 7 November 2022 after a long illness. He was 98.