HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  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 2414 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: