This humorrous and elegantly-confectioned adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's first (1928) literary success makes for a witty bundle of entertainment for discriminating audiences in search of tongue-in-cheek entertainment.

This humorrous and elegantly-confectioned adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s first (1928) literary success makes for a witty bundle of entertainment for discriminating audiences in search of tongue-in-cheek entertainment.

Writer-producer Ivan Foxwell has opted for a lightweight, spoofy approach to the Waugh story, with the result that everything is played one stop further out than normal. Consequently, some of the story’s absurdities become almost acceptable in the context.

Pace is sprightly as we follow Paul Pennyfeather, the schoolboy who becomes teacher, then foil for a dazzling white slaver, then jailbird until his final rebirth as, literally, a different man.

Robin Phillips, in his first pic role, is excellent as the scapegoat predestined to a bitter-sweet fate. Genevieve Page is as elegant and alluring as ever in another tailor-cast role as the source of most of Paul’s troubles.

John Krish’s direction helps underline the spoofish plot elements.

Decline and Fall

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director John Krish; Producer Ivan Foxwell; Screenplay Ivan Foxwell, Alan Hackney, Hugh Whitemore; Camera Desmond Dickinson; Editor Archie Ludski; Music Ron Goodwin; Art Director John Barry

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Robin Phillips Genevieve Page Donald Wolfit Colin Blakely Patience Collier Leo McKern
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