elderly prankster dies, leaving four
of his relatives a lump sum of £50,000,
but there is a catch: before they can
claim their inheritance, they each have
to perform a task that is against their
nature, which gives rise to humorous
consequences and the dear departed
has not even finished with them yet
in the hilarious 1951 comedy Laughter
ELDERLY PRANKSTER HENRY AUGUSTUS RUSSELL (Hugh Griffith: Ben Hur)
croaks his last in a quiet London square, leaving all his worldly goods to be
shared among his four remaining relatives. But all is not as it seems.
A notorious practical joker, Henry has stipulated that none of his living relatives
may inherit until they have each completed a task that is alien to their character.
Designed to reflect their greatest shortcomings and test their ability to adapt,
these tasks may well change their ways for the better…
and entertaining 1951
Laughter In Paradise
is full of amusing
or romantic little side
stories as each
to carry out their tasks
in order to inherit.
Another gem from the
sister Agnes Russell (Fay Compton: The Haunting) is a terrible snob who
treats her nervous maid Ethel (Charlotte Mitchell) appallingly. Henry wants
her to apply for a job as a housekeeper for a middle class household and she
must keep it for no less than one month.
Henry's distant cousin, timid Bank clerk Herbert Russell (George Cole: The
Happiest Days of Your Life) would not say boo to a goose, yet he has to
hold up the bank where he works for unsympathetic bank manager Mr Wagstaff (Ronald
Henry's cousin Simon (Guy Middleton: The Captive Heart) is a penniless,
womanising scoundrel who has to marry the first single woman he speaks to. Secretly
he has a conversation with the cigarette girl (a very early appearance by Audrey
Hepburn) at his club, but does not divulge this. However, he does later fall
for Lucille Grayson (Beatrice Campbell) who may well be about to turn the tables
Finally, law-abiding retired army officer Deniston Russell (Alastair Sim: The
Green Man; School for Scoundrels), a prolific writer of "penny dreadfuls"
must commit a genuine crime that will send him to prison for twenty-eight days.
His task is further complicated by his forthcoming marriage to his fiancée Elizabeth
Robson (Joyce Grenfell) whose father Sir Charles (A E Matthews) is far from
impressed by her choice of man.
Furthermore, the four cannot tell anyone else what they have been asked to do
or the Will becomes null and void.
Simple? Not in the least, as each attempts to carry out Henry's instructions
in the hugely funny and entertaining 1951 comedy Laughter In Paradise
that is full of amusing or romantic little side stories. Another gem from the
A welcome addition to the Vintage Classics catalogue, Laughter In Paradise
looks wonderful and benefits from brand new bonus content. If you are an Alastair
Sim fan, don't miss this.
Laughter In Paradise also features stand-out performances by: Ernest
Thesiger as Endicott; Mackenzie Ward as Winston Benson; Eleanor Somerfield as
Deniston's Secretary Sheila Wilcott; John Laurie as Gordon Webb; Anthony Steel
as Roger Godfrey; Veronica Hurst as Joan Webb; Michael Pertwee as Bank Clerk
Stewart; and Mary Germaine as Bank Teller Susan Heath.
Music is by Stanley Black, Performed by the Associated British Studio Orchestra
under the Direction of Louis Levy; Director of Photography is William McLeod;
Original Story and Screenplay by Michael Pertwee (A Funny Thing Happened
On The Way To The Forum) and Jack Davies (Those Magnificent Men In Their
Flying Machines); Produced and Directed by Mario Zampi (Mr Potts Goes
* The classic British comedy Laughter
In Paradise is released by STUDIOCANAL as a brand new restoration on DVD,
Blu-ray and Digital in the UK on 29 June 2020. Certificate: U | Running Time:
80 Minutes Approximately | Year: 1951.
DVD/Blu-ray Extras New: Alastair Sim and Laughter In Paradise
Interview with Stephen Fry | Ministry of Information short Nero: Save Fuel
(1943) starring Alastair Sim & George Cole | Behind The Scenes Stills Gallery
| Alastair Sim's Rectorial Address at Edinburgh University (1949) Audio Only
| Easter Egg.
"Hugely funny and entertaining 1951 comedy Laughter In Paradise is full
of amusing or romantic little side stories as each beneficiary attempts to carry
out their tasks in order to inherit. Another gem from the Fifties!"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar