A clever scripting job by Johnny Byrne, some enjoyable acting, and a very real evocation of what it must have been like for an ordinary bunch of young men suddenly to be required to turn into soldiers, make this adaptation of Spike Milligan's novel a much better prospect than it might seem. The story is based on embroidered fact and takes Spike from the time he received his World War II call-up papers to the moment of embarking to tackle the Hun. In many ways the film looks like a classy Carry On, a feeling strengthened by the casting of Dale as Milligan (with Milligan playing his own father), though overlaid by the zaniness and compassion of Milligan's humour. The comedy is occasionally given bite by credible moments of sudden tragedy.
Cast and crew