Tony Hancock's second film produces many amusing sequences, but it fails to jell. Story line is too slight. Result is a series of spasmodic incidents which Hancock has, largely, to carry on his own personality, despite being surrounded by some firstclass character actors.

Tony Hancock’s second film produces many amusing sequences, but it fails to jell. Story line is too slight. Result is a series of spasmodic incidents which Hancock has, largely, to carry on his own personality, despite being surrounded by some firstclass character actors.

Hancock plays a Punch and Judy man at a seaside resort which is ruled over by a snobbish mayor. Hancock’s marriage is foundering, since he fights the snobbery while his social climbing wife (Sylvia Syms) is anxious for him to mend his ways so that she can move into the local big league. Climax is the gala held to celebrate the 60th anni of the resort.

Director Jeremy Summers makes good use of the closeup to put over Hancock’s expressive mug, and devotees of the comic will get a generous quota of giggles. But either Summers or the editor, or maybe both, have failed to keep the film on a taut and even keel.

Syms, as Hancock’s disgruntled wife, takes her few opportunities avidly. Ronald Fraser shines as the officious mayor. Eddie Byrne chips in with a neat cameo as an ice cream assistant and Barbara Murray, as a socialite and guest of honor at the gala, pin-points once more that she is a sadly underrated femme in pix.

The Punch and Judy Man

UK

Production

Macconkey. Director Jeremy Summers; Producer Gordon L. T. Scott; Screenplay Philip Oakes, Tony Hancock; Camera Gilbert Taylor; Editor Gordon Pilkington; Music Derek Acott, Don Banks

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1963. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Tony Hancock Sylvia Syms Ronald Fraser Barbara Murray John Le Mesurier Hugh Lloyd
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