For all his success on TV, in children’s shows like Mick and Montmorency and the classic sitcom The Worker, Charlie Drake largely failed to make an impact on the big screen, with only four movies in 13 years before this flop.
Co-scripted by Drake and Norman Hudis, who had written the early Carry Ons, it is a comedy about the deliberate staging of a box-office bomb to claim the insurance – which pre-dated Mel Brooks’s similarly themed The Producers (1968) by a year.
Percy Pointer (Drake) is a builder with aspirations to be a writer who decides to pen a serious dramatic play. It means everything to him and he lives in the fictional world he is creating, acting out to the full every emotion and situation that he pens.
When Percy’s play – Oh, My Lord! – is finished, it arrives on the desk of Jocelyn Macauley, London’s leading impresario, at a time when he is particularly anxious to stage a resounding flop and so incur an impressive tax loss.
To Macauley, Oh, My Lord! is made to order and seems a cast-iron guarantee of box-office disaster.
In spite of an accomplished cast, Mister Ten Per Cent is killed stone dead by Drake himself, who was so hurt by its failure that he went into temporary retirement.
John Le Mesurier
Peter Graham Scott