Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting Lucky

I was just checking for online scenes from one of my very favorite comedies, Lucky Jim, a Boulting Brothers movie (1957) based on the 1954 novel by Kingsley Amis about a young professor at one of the redbrick universities in England. I’ve read the novel, and it’s funny, but not as rip-roaringly funny as the adaptation. Much to my surprise, I discovered that the entire film had been uploaded just last month:

Of course, this may not be authorized; it’s hard to imagine that the copyrights have expired. So catch it while you can. It’s a riot all the way through, but some of the best bits are:

• History professor Jim Dixon (Ian Carmichael) at a weekend gathering at the country home of his department head John Welch (Hugh Griffith) – especially when he inadvertently climbs into the bedroom of ex-girlfriend Margaret Peel (Maureen Connell).

• The way Welch answers the phone.

• The understated false modesty with which Welch’s son Bertrand (Terry Thomas) describes his unwritten novel.

• The ceremonial procession and the potted plants,

• Jim’s drunken delivery of the lecture he’s been forced by Welch into writing about Merrie England.

• His race to the railroad station, stealing Welch’s car (a star in itself!) to catch a girl he loves, Christine Callaghan (Sharon Acker) – and a future.

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