Starring not one but two future Doctor Whos—Jon Pertwee and William Hartnell—alongside national treasures such as George Cole, Sid James, and Joan Sims, Will Any Gentlemen…? is a little-known ‘50s comedy that ticks all the nostalgia boxes.
Harking back to the phenomenally successful Aldwych Farces of the 1930s, Vernon Sylvaine’s adaptation of his own hit West End play sees Cole on top form as a bewildered bank clerk caught up in a series of unfortunate events.
Strait-laced Henry Sterling’s peaceful life is periodically shattered by his wastrel brother’s antics. But when he attends a local theatre to pay his brother’s bouncing cheque he stays to watch the show – and ends up being hypnotised into thinking he’s a devil-may-care philanderer.
Directed by Oscar-nominated Michael Anderson, Will Any Gentleman..? is a period piece. As such, viewers should expect a sprinkling of classism and sexism in amongst the hi-jinx. However, the performances are top-notch, and while the direction can feel stilted, there’s real energy and charm here, from a smorgasbord of household names at the hight of their pomp.
Network’s new release is a brand-new High Definition remaster from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio.