I’m All Right Jack (1959)

I’m All Right Jack
Directed by John Boulting
Written by Frank Harvey, John Boulting and Alan Hackney from Hackney’s novel
Charter Film Productions/Boulting Brothers
First viewing/Amazon Instant

Fred Kite: We do not and cannot accept the principle that incompetence justifies dismissal. That is victimisation.

Here is an amusing comedy about labor relations in Britain.  And what a cast!

Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael) comes from the poor relation side of an aristocratic family.  He has a talent for screwing up everything he touches and has not been able to find a job.  His army buddy Sidney Devere Cox (Richard Attenborough) convinces Stanley’s uncle Tracepurcel (Dennis Price) to give him a job at the uncle’s missile plant.  Stanley assumes he will be going into management but both men tell him the wages are better as a unionized worker.  Unbeknownst to Stanley the whole deal is part of an elaborate plot to enrich Tracepurcel and Cox, a plot that hinges on a general strike at the uncle’s factory.

True to form, Stanley cannot comprehend the ethos of the unionized workers and is almost instantly in trouble.  He is forgiven his initial lapse and ends up boarding in the home of shop steward Fred Kite (Peter Sellers).  The final straw comes when he shows a time and motion study man how he can comfortably move more goods in less time.  The plotters get their strike and a whole lot more than they bargained for.  With Terry-Thomas as a labor relations man and Margaret Rutherford as Stanley’s aunt.

This film skewers labor and management alike and is pretty darned funny.   I love all these actors but Sellers is the stand-out.  He has the character of a stuffy but slightly Bolshevik union official just nailed, complete with Northern England accent.  Recommended.

I‘m All Right Jack won the BAFTA Awards for Best British Actor (Sellers) and Best British Screenplay.


2 thoughts on “I’m All Right Jack (1959)

  1. This is another one I love that I haven’t seen for a while.

    I made a list of my favorite movies, year by year, on IMDB, and I’m All Right Jack was my choice for 1959.

    Thanks for reminding me that I’m way past due to see it again!

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