School for Scoundrels
Director: Robert Hamer.
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim
This 1960 classic British film features Ian Carmichael as Henry Palfrey, who is always losing out to professional rotter Delauney (Terry-Thomas) until he discovers the Lifeman College in Yeovil, which teaches him how to get ahead in life. Carmichael is always likeable and never more so than here, Thomas is at his excellent best and we even have a number of notable cameos including the wonderful Dennis Price as untrustworthy car dealer Dunstan and the superb Alastair Sim as teacher Mr Potter at the Lifeman College. Sadly director Robert Hamer had a very short career, dying in 1963 but here, like Ealing’s brilliant Kind Hearts and Coronets, he is able to bring a darkly comic touch to proceedings. It is also fascinating to see parts of north London when this was filmed back in 1959, like Henleys Corner and parts of Finchley, to see just how much it has changed. School for Scoundrels is still considered to be one of the best vintage British comedies and it deserves this DVD and Blu-ray rerelease. The chemistry between Carmichael and Thomas proves what an exceptional director Hamer was and the cameos from the likes of Price and Sim add a lot to proceedings. If you haven’t seen it, then this is the perfect opportunity…
School for Scoundrels is out from 4 October