The Boulting Brothers' target [from the novel by Alan Hackney] is British factory life, trade unionism and the general possibility that everybody is working for one person - himself.
The Boulting Brothers’ target [from the novel by Alan Hackney] is British factory life, trade unionism and the general possibility that everybody is working for one person – himself.
Ian Carmichael plays an ex-university type who wants to get an executive job in industry. Instead, he is given a job as a factory worker by his uncle who wants him in as a stooge for a secret, dirty financial deal. Carmichael becomes the unwitting cause of a factory strike that swells to nationwide proportions. Gradually he begins to realize that he has been taken for a ride.
Carmichael slides smoothly through his performance, but it is Peter Sellers, as the chairman of the factory’s union works committee, who makes the film. With a makeup that subtly suggests Hitler, he brings rare humor and an occasional touch of pathos to the role. Sellers’ strength is that he does not deliberately play for laughs. He produces them from the situations and sharp dialog.
Dennis Price and Richard Attenborough as shady employers and Terry-Thomas as a bewildered personnel manager also provide rich roles.