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United Kingdom 1960
Directed by
Robert Asher
100 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Make Mine Mink

A late but enjoyable addition to a highwater era for British film comedy looking back to the classic Ealing period of The Ladykillers (1955), through the broader comedy of Too Many Crooks (1958) and forward to the dire Carry On era of the 1960s. It features familiar faces from both sides including Terry-Thomas, Hattie Jacques in fine form in a subject much loved by English audiences - the escapades of a gang of indomitably incompetent but likeable rogues.

The story concerns Dame Beatrice Appleby (Athene Seyler), a kind-hearted, mildy dotty dowager who takes in lodgers at her Kensington home and employs Lily (Billie Whitelaw) a young woman who has done some time in prison but is now reformed. When Dame B’s charity fund-raising efforts come to little, she and her lodgers come up with a scheme to generate cash by stealing furs whilst trying to hide their crimes from Lily.

Adapted from a stage play, the real strength of Make Mine Mink is its characters and performances.  Embodying some of stereotypes of British comedy, the four leads, Seyler as the eccentric old aristocrat, Terry-Thomas as the superannuated soldier living on dreams of non-existent glories, Hattie Jacques as the mannish etiquette teacher and Elspeth Duxbury as the nervy spinster are all perfect and when they're interacting it's wonderful to watch.

Although the film runs out of puff in its latter stages, the spoof of The Third Man is a wonderful counterpoint to its more prosaic moments. BH

DVD Extras: Original Theatrical Trailer and Still Gallery.

Available from: Madman




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