Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) - ★★★★½

Director: Frank Launder
Writers: John Dighton (Play), Frank Launder
Stars: Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, Guy Middleton, Joyce Grenfell

The Happiest Days of Your Life is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Margaret Rutherford and Alastair Sim are two of the greatest comedic actors of all time. Together these two have explosive chemistry and perfect comic timing. These legendary English actors are at their best in this film, making it one of the greatest British comedies of all time.

The headmaster (Sim) of Nutbourne College, an old established, all-boys boarding school, is told that another school is to be staying with them due to wartime restrictions. Little did he know that it is an all-girls school with a haughty headmaster (Rutherford). Both headmasters clash as their methods of running things differ substantially. When Sim's promotion and Rutherford's reputation is on the line, the two must find a way to work together to save their skins.

Anyone who has seen the old Miss Marple series knows Rutherford well. She is an exquisite actress that shines brightest in this film. Every facial expression, old fashion saying and mannerism she performs is a knockout. Alastair Sim is known for playing a more reserved and calm character, but not here. Rutherford ruffles his feathers and makes him rise to frustration, bringing the best out of his comedic talent. Together, these two can do no wrong.

This is a prequel to the famous St. Trinian's series with many characters to recognize, such as Miss Gossage (Joyce Grenfell). The screenplay is marvellous and could not have been performed by better actors. I loved the dialogue tremendously, bringing together old fashioned comedy and witty one-liners.

If you love classic British comedies, then this is a must see! I'm not sure if you can get this movie on DVD, I myself had to watch it on a VHS tape. It was a highpoint in my life to see Rutherford and Sim perform together, which is why I think it's definitely worth paying good money for.