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School For Scoundrels (1960)

Based on Stephen Potter’s popular books, this hit-and-miss comedy just about passes muster thanks to the willing performances of Ian Carmichael and Terry-Thomas.

Henry Palfrey (Carmichael), one of life’s losers, decides to take lessons in one-upmanship when the girl he loves is won over by the caddish Raymond Delauney (Thomas).

There are some amusing moments as Carmichael learns how to “confound a bounder” under the tutelage of Alastair Sim, but director Robert Hamer – best known for the Ealing classic Kind Hearts and Coronets – handles the subtle humour with a heavy hand and fails to knit the various sketches into a convincing whole.

Hamer was fired because of his drinking problems and the remaining scenes were divvied between producer Hal E. Chester and an uncredited Cyril Frankel.

Henry Palfrey
Ian Carmichael
Raymond Delauney
Stephen Potter
Alastair Sim
April Smith
Janette Scott
Dunstan Dorchester
Dennis Price
Dudley Dorchester
Peter Jones
Edward Chapman
Mrs Stringer
Irene Handl
Kynaston Reeves
Head waiter
John Le Mesurier
Hugh Paddick
First instructress
Hattie Jacques
Second instructress
Barbara Roscoe

Robert Hamer