This WWII comedy-drama stars a squad of misfits who are operating a Royal Artillery plane-spotting searchlight – located on a converted cricket pitch with the pavilion as their barrack room – during German night-time bombing raids.
Lt.”Oggie” Ogleby (Ian Carmichael) presides over the searchlight battalion, which includes brothers Eric (Tommy Steele) and Sid (Benny Hill) – who are more interested in honing their music-hall comedy double-act act than in the war – and perpetually coughing cook Roland Kenyon (Harry Locke) who aspires to be a cordon bleu chef, and practices by serving the chip-loving men fancy meals they do not want.
Lance-Bombardier Tomlinson (Victor Maddern) is a regular soldier who suffers agonies of frustration because his rank is inferior to his ATS fiancee, while Ted (Sydney Tafler) is an “old sweat” who is quietly concerned about his son who is fighting with the Desert Rats in North Africa.
Gunner Smith (Johnny Briggs) is so concerned about the faithfulness of his girlfriend that he goes AWOL to sort things out. Fortunately, Oggie is a decent sort of chap and when he finds out where Smith is, he travels to Sheffield to get him back.
Released in some markets as Skywatch, the film is funny and moving in equal parts (especially towards the end).
The stand-out performance comes from Benny Hill who steals every scene he is in.
Lt. “Oggie” Ogleby
Gunner Syd McCaffey
Gunner Eric McCaffey
Gunner Ted Green
Lance Bombardier Tomlinson
Gunner Roland Kenyon
Gunner Leslie Smith
Gunner ‘Spinner’ Rice