Three hot-blooded and sex-starved sailors (Jim Dale, Tom Bell and Ian Bannen) pursue a series of lusty liaisons while on shore leave in 18th-century England in this period comedy.
Derived from Henry Fielding’s 18th-century comedy Rape upon Rape and John Vanbrugh’s Restoration romp The Relapse, this version of the London stage musical comes to the screen minus the songs.
Despite its distinguished origins – and a cast that includes Christopher Plummer, Susannah York and Glynis Johns – it comes across as non-musical slapstick that’s as loud and vulgar as a cheap panto.
Such character names as Mr Squeezum, Lady Clumsey, Lusty, Hoyden and Lady Eager give an idea of the general tone, and the cast plunges in with a will.
Susannah York is enchanting as the tomboy Hilaret; Fenella Fielding incredible as Lady Eager, uttering whispered cries for help when attacked by an attractive man; and Glynis Johns best of all in her lecherous observations on felons in the dock (“Two rapists? Indeed!“)
Sir Tunbelly Clumsey
Mr Justice Squeezum
Mr. Justice Worthy
Earl of Ware