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Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Men In A Boat (1956)

Set in the 1880s, a carefree bachelor (Laurence Harvey), a married man (David Tomlinson), a gentleman (Jimmy Edwards) being pushed into marriage by his girlfriend's mother (Martita Hunt) and his dog take two weeks vacation boating down the Thames river in order to get away from their women troubles. Based on the popular novel by Jerome K. Jerome and directed by Ken Annakin (THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES), it's a rather labored farce with lots of pratfalls and slapstick but very little genuine laughter. The men are portrayed as addled oafs which makes them unappealing rather than endearing. There is one amusing sequence in which Edwards attempts to lead a group of people out of a maze but gets lost instead but other than that it's sluggish. Harvey shows little talent for farce (the pity is, he shows little talent for anything else). Three lovelies brighten up the film for awhile: Shirley Eaton (GOLDFINGER), Jill Ireland and Lisa Gastoni. Shot in CinemaScope. With Adrienne Corri and Ernest Thesiger.

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