4 June 2003 | sep1051
Amiable British Company
Before they concentrated on the Carry On franchise, producer Peter Rogers, director Gerald Thomas, write Norman Hudis, composer Bruce Montgomery et al made a series of comedies such as "No Kidding". David (Leslie Phillips) and Catherine (Geraldine McEwan) Robinson inherit Chartham Place, a large country home, and convert it into a holiday home for rich children. The children come from a cross section of families but, in general, all suffer neglect from their bust parents. They include an arrogant American brother and sister, the son of a social climbing scrap merchant, two sons of a Middle East King, two daughters of African politicans, the daughter of a Duke, a boy with a seriously ill mother and a sexy teenager with a vivid imagination (Julia Lockwood). As with comedies of this genre there is minimal plot. Christine encourages the children's "freedom", obviously until freedom goes too far. A matron (June Jago) feuds with the drunken cook (Joan Hickson, enjoying herself immensely) who, in turn, is abetted by the caretaker (Noel Purcell). An officious alderwoman (Irene Handl) has an eye on the property for a community center. Given these acting professionals the acting is good across the board. Geraldine McEwan shows the greatest range and its a pity that she isn't better known in North America. Overall this comedy can be recommended, it may not have belly laughs but will bring many smiles.