Studio canal released a box set of Alastair Sim’s funniest films on DVD quite a few number of years past. Included on that set was LAUGHTER IN PARADISE, a witty send up of British snobbery and society. Now if you care to view the Rotten Tomatoes (the god awful excuse for a film ranking website) you might think that they and indeed the British cinema going public had lost its collective minds.

At a mer 20%, you could be right but I beg to differ. When practical joker and millionaire Henry Russell (Oscar winner Hugh griffith) dies, he leaves a surprise for his relations in his will. For them to claim their part of his fortune, they must complete assignments. Ones that will make them more level with society. Each has a dark side. Horrid Agnes (Fay Compton), who is mean and spiteful must become a housekeeper for a month. Grotty novelist Deniston (Alastair Sim) has to spend time in jail. Man about town Simon (Guy Middleton) must marry and the soft heart of Herbert (George Cole) must commit a bank robbery. This might seem objectionable to those without a funny bone but to me it is riotous. It brings to the fore the issues at the heart of our times. Do what I say and not what I do. Humility would not go amiss. Neither would action and words. This film delightfully stabs at the wagging fingers and self rightous left and right without missing a beat. Glorious fun and gut bustingly great.


Brand new restoration looks a little winded in terms of stock depth. The DVD version was a little worn and this has adjusted that to it now being a little white in tone.


Sim’s Speach to the EU is a funny and witty affair. It is also the best thing on the disc by a country mile.

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