13 September 2008 | Spikeopath
Enjoyable, if a tad stilted.
Will Any Gentlemen...? is adapted from the stage play by Vernon Sylvanie. Where the play was apparently joyous in its farcical ideals, this adaptation struggles to convince as a farcical whole. The plot revolves around George Cole's spineless bank clerk, Henry Sterling, who whilst attending a music hall show, falls under Mendoza the hypnotist's spell (Alan Badel looking like Satan!). This brings about a complete character change in Henry, he is now a womanizer and shifty in the extreme, this of course causes much consternation to Henry's wife, who enlists Mendoza to track down Henry and snap him out of this dubious spell.
Some solid laughs come about as the farce rate ups during the final third, but some of the dialogue is terribly twee and the cast in the main struggle to deliver fun lines with any great conviction, with Jon Pertwee as Charley Sterling particularly looking out of place. However, the picture is not a total waste of time, it has a certain charming appeal and at the least it does put a smile on ones face from time to time. Ultimately, though, a better cast and a stronger director could have made this into a British treasure. 5/10