In this delightful laugh out loud comedy from 1953, based off a play by Vernon Sylvaine. George Cole plays 'Henry Sterling' A young man who gets hypnotised into leading a more fulfilling life. He gets himself into a spot of bother when he attempts to help out his brother Charley (Jon Pertwee) when he gets into a money problem. He goes to the theatre to pay the manager (Sid James) what his brother owes him, and as a thank you the theatre manager offers him a free ticket to see The Great Mendoza. (Alan Badel)
It's only the morning after, Henry starts acting in a very strange way. So much so that it gets him into a spot of trouble at the bank where he works and incidentally unravels a number of problems as a consequence of that. The only way to sort Henry out is to get him back to normal, and dehypnotised. The only way that that can happen is by confronting The Great Mendoza again.
Now this only came to my attention, because The Doctor Who fan in me, loved Jon Pertwee and William Hartnell and the fact that they were in it, was enough to make me want to get the DVD and watch it. I'm really glad that I did, because it was laugh out comedy, very very funny and quick, sharp witted, with lots of action and theatrical gestures in the performance of the actors. Good Actors, some of which are more famously known as being part of the 'Carry On' cast.
It's always good to adapt a book or a play into a film, because it's allowing a different discipline of apply a directing technique to what was a piece of live theatre onto the screens of a cinema or a television for example. There is so much more you can do with film, in terms of cutting in between shots and interchanging between scenes a lot more sharply than theatre, you have less limitations to what you can do in theatre, in Film you have a budget and you can fit well within that budget as aposed to perfoming it live, and costume changes in theatre are quite time consuming, where as in film, its a matter of shooting out of sequence, so those are just some of the benefits of presenting this story in a Film format.
Now the laughs, I laughed a lot watching this, and it such great fun to sit and watch something funny and laugh because it's funny. Especially Jon Pertwee who is a comedic actor who has done 'The Navy Lark', 'Carry On' Films, is very quick witted and sharp. I love the attack in Jon Pertwee's voice and how he pronounces words in the english language. George Cole as well was very funny, especially when he has a little mingle with his house keeper. He's in touch with his mischievious side and dare devil demon which we all have in us, which makes take risks. The old Henry wouldn't do that, but broken free of that Henry is actually a free go getter and a bit of a sacey minx.
Here's a sneak preview of what to expect.
For an hour and half, it's not too long a film to sit through, you can start at 12 and be done by just before Half Past 1. So it doesn't muck about and doesn't take up too much of the viewers time. Having said that, there is a moment after Hnery is hynotised and his wife asks him where he has been. There is a gap inbetween those two scene and that gap is never filled, because it's not explained actually what happened to Henry after he left the theatre the night before.
So it makes me question, how did Henry get home in a normal state, but yet still be under control of Mendoza's power? And of course there is a wonderful twist at the end, which I won't reveal but it is something which you will not see coming and then the film ends, so that in turn leads into you slightly confused as to what did happen before hand.
Apart from minor plot holes, it's about the comedy, it's about the laughs and it about having fun with this. I give this film an 8/10!
NEXT : Disney's Lady & The Tramp.