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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > British > School For Scoundrels or How To Win Without Actually Cheating (1960/British/Lionsgate)

School For Scoundrels or How To Win Without Actually Cheating (1960/British/Lionsgate)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: D†††† Film: C+

 

 

The original Robert Hamer School For Scoundrels or How To Win Without Actually Cheating (1960) is a study of wit, snobbery and class division that pits love against the caste system in sly ways.A much respected film, it was made in the same spirit as the Ealing Studio comedies and has Ian Carmichael as a new student at a stuffy school who finds himself against Terry-Thomas for the affections of Janette Scott.

 

Somewhat predictable and only slightly dated, it is better than most TV sitcoms that have influenced so many of them today, but is not exactly what we would think of a model of the BritCom.With that said, the Patricia Moyes/Hal E. Chester screenplay (based on Stephen Fosterís book) is literate and the performances have just the right amount of energy to make this seem younger than its age.A must-see for film fans, we doubt any remake could come close.

 

The anamorphically enhanced image should be 1.66 X 1 throughout, but is only truly so in the opening and closing credits.Otherwise, the transfer cheats at 1.78 X 1 throughout.The black and white is nicely shot by cinematographer Erwin Hillier, who was on the upswing and would soon lens Operation Crossbow, The Quiller Memorandum, The Shoes Of The Fisherman and The Valley Of Gwangi.This could be sharper and clearer, with an HD upgrade on the way soon we hope.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad for its age, has good dialogue and a score by John Addison, known for his comedy scores like A Fine Madness (reviewed elsewhere on this site), then going on to darker material like Torn Curtain, Sleuth and The Seven-Percent Solution.There are no extras.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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