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The Happiest Days of Your Life

With hindsight, this uproarious farce, adapted from a play by John Dighton, heralds a retreat. Throughout the 1940s, Launder and Gilliat had been making ambitious, heartfelt films about ordinary people (Millions Like Us, Waterloo Road), but with the new decade, they began to rely more and more on stylised English humour and stock characters. Sim plays a headmaster who learns that thanks to Civil Service bungling, he's going to share his premises with a girls' school. Vintage moments include Rutherford, the tweedy, formidable headmistress, marching at the head of a column of girls, like Hannibal about to attack the Alps, and Joyce Grenfell's games mistress Miss Gossage ('just call me sausage') banging the school gong with the fervour of a bodybuilder auditioning for Rank.

Release details

Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Frank Launder
Screenwriter: Frank Launder, John Dighton
Cast: Alastair Sim
Margaret Rutherford
Joyce Grenfell
Edward Rigby
Guy Middleton
Richard Wattis
George Cole
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