HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
   
 
  You Must Be Joking! The Game Of LifeBuy this film here.
Year: 1965
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Michael Callan, Lionel Jeffries, Denholm Elliott, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Bernard Cribbins, James Robertson Justice, Leslie Phillips, Gabriella Licudi, Patricia Viterbo, Terry-Thomas, Lee Montague, Irene Handl, Richard Wattis, Miles Malleson, Arthur Lowe
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The military have devised a mission for five men to carry out, but as Britain is not at war with anybody the excursion takes a decidedly non-military form. The leader of this plan is Major Foskett (Terry-Thomas), who had been requested to conjure up an aptitude test to run as a contest between various regiments of the Army, including a man from the United States Air Force base in the area. It sounded like simplicity itself: pick up a collection of objects and return with them to the base of operations at eleven o'clock the following day. But how simple was it?

Obviously if it had been simple then the movie would have been over with in five minutes rather than the hundred it takes for the adventure to play out, and would have been a lot less enjoyable to boot. The director here was Michael Winner, who also came up with the story, and in his later years he garnered a fairly poor reputation for his increasingly tawdry movies and his tendency to act as something of a rentaquote on the subject of showbiz, all of which unfortunately blinded many to the fact that there was a time when he could make some very entertaining movies. That time being the sixties more often than not, but it was still unfair to write off his whole career.

You Must Be Joking! was one of his comedies, taking the form of a scavenger hunt of the sort often attracting filmmakers wanting a basic outline to hang a bunch of jokes on, though not one which often caught on with the public, curiously enough. More often such efforts would rate a cult status, as was the case with this among those who caught it on its rare television showings, and in this instance it won a further glamour when samples of its dialogue were dropped into the late nineties one hit wonder Cognoscenti vs Intelligensia by The Cuban Boys (you know, the Hamster Dance thing). Or it would have done if anyone had been familiar enough with it to recognise them; sounded fun, though.

And that's because it was fun, highly entertaining all the way with all the celebs Winner could muster appearing before his camera, seriously, not five minutes went by without the viewer prompted to say, "Oh, it's whatsisface! You know, that guy from that movie!" The fact that they all knew what was expected of them, show up and be funny basically, worked strongly in the comic atmosphere's favour, but for many this was Lionel Jeffries' film as he stole the show with this Scottish sergeant-major MacGregor, ostensibly the villain of the piece except he's so entertaining you wouldn't mind him succeeding in capturing all the objects and passing the finishing post first.

The actual leading man was American import Michael Callan, a song and dance exponent best known for his more serious roles on film until efforts such as these turned around his career and he ended up in light comedy on television. He had a certain charm, slightly smug but winning with it, therefore ideal for this which amounted to that most sixties of diversions, the caper movie. The objects the five men have to secure are naturally of an obscure variety, all the better to send them careering across London to get some plaster flying ducks or the emblem from a Rolls-Royce, with an especially tricky example for the piece de resistance. Quite often more ridiculous than anything else, star spotters would have a ball with this, with a host of laugh out loud lines and situations, but there was one drawback which left questions by the end: specifically, were we supposed to still like Callan's character in light of how he treated his loyal girlfriend (Gabriella Licudi) after all that? Set this aside, which was difficult, and you had excellent value for a Swinging London comedy. Music by Laurie Johnson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2321 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: