Privates on Parade

An adaptation of Peter Nichols' play which continues the strange British love affair with National Service, the Far East, and tatty theatrical camp, rolling them all together in a thin excuse for a plot: a troupe of virgin soldiers trek around up-country Malaysia, doing Carmen Miranda impressions to audiences of blank-faced Gurkhas, and getting caught in the crossfire between Communists, the locals, and their own sergeant's gun-running activities. A few laughs, a few tears; something palatable is being said about the state of the nation. Through it all strides Cleese, barking his familiar brand of pop-eyed, cheerful racism to cover the unmistakable air of a man fighting a losing battle. But it's all rather wan; the sensibilities remain stubbornly theatrical, and the English countryside resolutely refuses to stand in for the Malaysian jungle. CPea.

Release details

Duration: 113 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Blakemore
Screenwriter: Peter Nichols
Cast: John Cleese
Denis Quilley
Michael Elphick
Nicola Pagett
Bruce Payne
Joe Melia
David Bamber
Simon Jones
Patrick Pearson
LiveReviews|0
1 person listening