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I'm All Right Jack (1959) Online

I'm All Right Jack (1959) Online
Original Title :
Iu0027m All Right Jack
Genre :
Movie / Comedy
Year :
Directror :
John Boulting
Cast :
Ian Carmichael,Terry-Thomas,Peter Sellers
Writer :
Alan Hackney,Frank Harvey
Type :
Time :
1h 45min
Rating :
I'm All Right Jack (1959) Online

Naive Stanley Windrush returns from the war, his mind set on a successful career in business. Much to his own dismay, he soon finds he has to start from the bottom and work his way up, and also that the management as well as the trade union use him as a tool in their fight for power.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Carmichael Ian Carmichael - Stanley Windrush
Terry-Thomas Terry-Thomas - Maj. Hitchcock
Peter Sellers Peter Sellers - Fred Kite / Sir John Kennaway
Richard Attenborough Richard Attenborough - Sidney De Vere Cox
Dennis Price Dennis Price - Bertram Tracepurcel (as Denis Price)
Margaret Rutherford Margaret Rutherford - Aunt Dolly
Irene Handl Irene Handl - Mrs. Kite
Liz Fraser Liz Fraser - Cynthia Kite
Miles Malleson Miles Malleson - Windrush Snr.
Marne Maitland Marne Maitland - Mr. Mohammed
John Le Mesurier John Le Mesurier - Waters
Raymond Huntley Raymond Huntley - Magistrate
Victor Maddern Victor Maddern - Knowles
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith - Dai
Fred Griffiths Fred Griffiths - Charlie

Ian Carmichael was thirty-eight, playing a twenty-six-year-old.

The 45 r.p.m. version of Al Saxon's theme song had different lyrics than the movie version.

A heavily made-up Peter Sellers plays the ancient club-man Sir John in the pre-credits sequence.

The author of the screenplay, Alan Hackney, gives himself a nod by naming the girl on the Num Yum production line "Miss Hackney".

Two of the principals, Dame Margaret Rutherford and Sir Richard Attenborough ensure their respective spouses, Stringer Davis and Sheila Sim, aren't far away by getting them uncredited minor parts in this movie.

Two of the shop stewards in the movie, brothers Tony Comer and John Comer, got the roles after winning a talent show as a comedy double act, "The Comer Brothers". The prize was one thousand pounds sterling and a movie contract with The Boulting Brothers.

Ian Carmichael's character is called "Stanley Windrush". M.V. Empire Windrush was the name of the ship that bought the first group of West Indian immigrants to Britain in 1948.

The title of this movie refers to a well-known British expression that indicates smug and complacent selfishness.

Film critic and Peter Sellers biographer Alexander Walker was invited to the set by John Boulting one day. Walker looked to see where Peter Sellers was and Boulting said he was right next to the critic. Walker was stunned.

Cast in this film as father and daughter, Peter Sellers and Liz Fraser would work on another film the following year, this time as a couple.

Ian Carmichael was one of several people who witnessed the mini silent films made by Peter Sellers on the set of "I'm All Right Jack."

The title of the movie is "I'm All Right Jack". On the original British trailer, a comma was added to the title ("I'm All Right, Jack").

User reviews



Along with Alexander Mackendrick's "The Man in the White Suit," this is THE great satire of management-labor relations: less allegorical and more cheerfully crass. In a way this movie seems like a sort of crossroads in British comedy, poised between the warmer eccentricities of the Ealing films and and the screw-'em-all pop irreverence of the rising New Wave.

These days the film seems to be primarily remembered for Peter Sellers' magnificent caricature of socialist sanctimony, Fred Kite, but the whole gallery of players, many reprising roles from the earlier "Private's Progress," is excellent. Carmichael, all inane, wild-eyed grins, is Woosterish as ever as the brainless but well-intentioned Windrush. Terry-Thomas produces a very funny sketch of middle-class middle management. It's a perfect picture of lazy hypocrisy: the man who settles into a do-nothing job, knowing exactly how awful it is but not caring so long as he gets through the day. He had a face made for contempt; watching his mustache curl as he reads an entry in the workers' suggestion box ("Filthy beast," he mutters, as he tucks it away in a pocket) or as he picks his way through the rubbish of Kite's wifeless home is a joy. Price and Attenborough are, as always, first-class rotters, the iciest of the moneyed class, and Handl, Le Mesurier and Rutherford add vividly funny moments. As the war over Windrush expands from workplace to societal to domestic spheres, watching the various characters bounce and interact provides some of the movie's best-observed moments, such as the brief tea scene between Rutherford and Handl, who, though inhabiting utterly different worlds, seem to interact perfectly in mutual obliviousness.

And there is Sellers, of course, pitch-perfect whether marching around the factory like the lead float in a parade or rhapsodizing about Russia or going hilariously blank on live television. It's memorable work that might overbalance the movie's double-edged attack if it weren't human enough to be sympathetic as well.

All in all, silly, clever, raucous fun.


The cast alone is a triumph in this movie - some of the best British character actors who ever lived are here: Terry Thomas, Miles Malleson, John Le Mesurier, all backing up Ian Carmichael as the earnest, silly-ass upper-class bumbler and Peter Sellers as Fred Kite, the Marxist shop steward. Sellers in particular is wonderful; his Fred Kite is a lower class striver who has acquired just enough education to give him an inflated idea of his own abilities, but not enough to realize the gaps and inadequacies in his views. He is a perfect realization in miniature of Taine's statement that there is nothing more dangerous than a general idea in a narrow, empty mind. He boasts to his Oxford-educated gentleman lodger about the summer course he took at the university once, reminding him in a familiar fashion about the very good marmalade and toast provided by the college, while the obviously wealthy young man politely admits that he wasn't acquainted with the public dining hall during his years there.

The plot becomes more and more complex as the movie progresses, with almost everyone turning out to be on the take. The climax comes in a free-for-all over a bag containing thousands of pounds intended to bribe Stanley into joining the sensible schemers plundering the public while paying lip service to public service and solidarity with the working class. Malcolm Muggeridge has a interesting cameo in this scene, playing himself. Most recent broadcasts of this movie have edited out the disturbing racist statements of the working class characters, but the original movie had no sentimental soft spot for anyone, workers or bosses.


I remember seeing this film at the ABC Golders Green when it first came out and it seemed pretty funny then.It was on Channel 4 recently and i just believe that this gets better with age.I just wonder why cant they make films like this anymore.Do we have to rely on TV and "Little Britain"to satirise modern Britain.There are just so many small as well as big laughs .It makes you think whether you saw that first time round.Everything about this film was so true about Britain at the time that it was made.I recall that the Boultings were involved with a dispute with trade unions over which they litigated and which i believe they lost.This was their way of getting revenge.Every character is perfectly cast from Sam Kydd and his memorable stutter to dear Margaret Rutherford who was at her comedic zenith in the cinema at that time.Of course Peter Sellers gives what must be one of the top 5 comedic performances in British cinema.His shop steward is just so perfect.Oh why don't they make films like this anymore?


For me, this is the best film of all time. A superb cast of the UK's finest character actors and an A1 script.

Peter Sellers was truly magnificent as the left wing union shop steward and Terry Thomas excelled in playing the two faced Personnel Manager. Among his classic comments are "The Management have behaved like absolute stinkers" when talking to the union and " They are a complete shower" when talking to Management about the unions. Another fine comment is when on being told that some bigwigs are visiting the factory, Terry Thomas replies "You better spruce the place up a bit, you know soap in the toilets, that sort of thing".

I must have seen this film at least 20 times and I never grow tired of it. Great story, fine comedy and great acting. Never has a film handled the issue of industrial relations in such an amusing and pertinent manner.


The characters from "Private's Progress" return from the war to continue with their peace-time work. Naive Stanley Windrush causes an industrial relations disaster when his workmates decide he is too eager in his job. However, the labour union reluctantly decide they have to back him...

An hilarious pastiche of 50s class struggles, with a brilliant performance by Peter Sellers as the union shop-steward, this film will have you laughing if you have liked any of the Ealing comedies, are a Peter Sellers fan, or just think that maybe the means of production should be controlled by the state after all.


I'm All Right Jack is directed and produced by John and Roy Boulting from a script by Frank Harvey, John Boulting and Alan Hackney. It's based on the novel Private Life by Hackney and is a sequel to the Boulting's 1956 film Private's Progress. Returning from the first film are Ian Carmichael, Dennis Price, Richard Attenborough, Terry-Thomas, Victor Madden & Miles Malleson. While Peter Sellers (BAFTA for Best Actor) and a ream of British comedy actors of the time make up the rest of the cast.

Looking to force a crooked deal, Bertram Tracepurcel (Price) and his cohort Sydney de Vere Cox (Attenborough) convince Major Hitchcock (Thomas), the personnel manager at the local missile factory, to hire Tracepurcel's nephew, Stanley Windrush (Carmichael), knowing full well that his earnest and wet behind the ears approach to work will cause fractions within the work force. Then it's expected that Bolshoi shop steward Fred Kite (Sellers) will call a strike that will see the crooked plan to fruition.

Between 1956 and 1963 the Boulting brothers produced a number of satirical movies, I'm All Right Jack is arguably the finest of the bunch. Given that it's now admittedly a dated time capsule, for some of the dialogue would simply be shot down in this day and age, one has to judge and value it for the time it was made. The first and most striking thing about the film is that nobody escapes the firing line, this is not merely a device to kick the trade unions with {and a kicking they do get}, but also the government, the media, big industries and the good old chestnut of the old school brigade. All are in the sights of the Boulting's and the team. The overriding message being that all of them are out for themselves, self-interest and feathering of ones nest is the order of the times.

Also winning a BAFTA was the screenplay, with that you still need the cast to do do it justice. Ian Carmichael was an undervalued performer in that he was an unselfish actor feeding set ups to his costars. That is never more evident than it is here where the likes of Margaret Rutherford, Irene Handl, John Le Mesurier, Liz Fraser & Victor Madden benefit greatly playing off of Carmichael's toff twit twittering. But it's Sellers movie all the way. Which considering he didn't want to do the movie originally, saying he couldn't see the role of Kite being funny, makes his turn all the more special. Studying for weeks labour leaders and politico types, Sellers, with suit too tight, cropped hair and a Hitler moustache, nails the pompous militancy of the shop steward leader. It doesn't stop there, couple it with the contrast of Kite's home life, where the Boulting's are slyly digging away at facades, and you get a two side of the coin performance that's a joy from start to finish.

Very much like Ealing's sharp 51 piece, The Man In The White Suit, this is cynical, but classy, British cinema across the board. Throwing punches and with cheek unbound, I'm All Right Jack has razor sharp teeth from which to take a bite of the comedy pie with. 9/10


I was quite surprised with this film, not because of liking it (I did), but just how much union politics the Boulting Brothers put on their sleeve with working on this movie. I have been in a Union business that failed before, and I was quite shocked at how much I could compare my own experiences with what was on display here with the Unions and Management trying to maneuver themselves ahead of on another. While Peter Sellers does put on a great performance, this really is Ian Carmichael's movie. I hadn't seen any of his work, and this was a great introduction. All of the other cast is great as well. One final note, it probably contains the most annoyingly catchy title song ever, it'll probably haunt your cranium for days.


'I'm All Right Jack' has gone down in British film history as a celebrated satire on industrial disputes. Ian Carmichael reprises his role as 'Stanley Windrush' ( great name! ), the naive young man we saw first in the Boulting Brothers' army comedy 'Private's Progress'. Having left his university post, he begins looking for a job. Firstly, he goes to the makers of 'Detto' soap powder, but his honesty ensures he is swiftly shown the door. Then at the Num-Yum chocolate factory, he throws up in the machinery. 'Uncle Bertie' Tracepurcel ( Dennis Price ) gets him a job driving a fork-lift truck at the engineering firm of Missiles Ltd. But his posh voice and gentle manner persuade the men he is really a time and motion man. Major Hitchcock ( Terry-Thomas ) offers to sack him, only to then be told this act will bring the whole workforce out on strike.

Though Carmichael is billed as star ( and gives his usual first-rate performance ) it is Peter Sellers who stands out as the dictatorial shop steward 'Fred Kite'. A stickler for the party rule book, he is utterly humourless and quotes Lenin without ever really understanding it. With his short haircut, Hitler-like moustache, tight suit and pompous misuse of English ( "I have no hesitation in delineating it as bare-faced provocative of the workers!" ), he has to rank as one of Sellers' very best comedy creations.

What can one say about the rest of the cast? Nothing except list the names - Terry Scott, Cardew Robinson, Kenneth Griffith, Ronnie Stevens, Victor Maddern, John Comer, David Lodge, Miles Malleson, Irene Handl, John Le Mesurier, and dear old Margaret Rutherford - and that should tell you all you need to know.

After Stanley unwittingly helps a time and motion man to review the rates of pay for the job, he is sent to Coventry by his fellow workers and the factory grinds to a halt. The dispute spreads across the country. The one good thing about it is that Stanley gets to date Kite's flighty daughter Cynthia ( Liz Fraser ). It is no secret that the Boulting Brothers were no lovers of trade unions, and here unionists are depicted as as either lazy or stupid, and their members easily led. Often overlooked is the fact that it is also extremely critical of capitalist bosses too. It is Carmichael's upper-class twit joining the factory ( "liable to reverberate back to our deterrent!" as Kite eloquently puts it ) that is the catalyst for the film's events. The climax has Stanley losing his rag on a 'Question Time'-like show, and, denouncing the system as fundamentally corrupt, throws the money Cox ( Richard Attenborough ) tried to bribe him with into the audience, causing a near-riot.

The film also takes swipes at the media, the world of advertising, commerce ( the sequence set in the Num-Yum factory makes me queasy with each viewing! ), and the changing moral climate of '50's Britain. The final scene in a nudist colony is hysterical! If I could choose one film to put in a time capsule to epitomise that era, this would be it. The fact that after forty years, the phrase 'I'm All Right Jack' is still used as shorthand for naked greed is testimony to its enduring appeal. It was the most popular British film of its year.


In my opinion, despite its age, this is certainly the finest comedy movie ever to have been produced in the UK. Sellers shows us his true genius as the Union leader Fred Kite, a role that he arguably never bettered. It is a film that can be watched more than once, because the subtlety of the humour runs deep, and new pieces that escaped notice the first time can be detected in subsequent viewings. Sellers is undoubtedly the master here, but is well supported by Carmichael- and Terry Thomas as the hard pressed personnel manager comes close to stealing the top honours. A truly first class comedy that tells us more about the state of British Industry in 1959 than any serious drama from the same era.


It's many years since I last saw this. Watching it agian, it still holds up as being a hugely enjoyable film. The politics of the storyline are an absolute cliche, but the performances are so good, from a cast of some of Britains best comedy actors, that you can forget some of the cringingly simplistic plot assumptions.

The performance that really stands out, way above the others, is Peter Sellars as the rather pathetic shop steward. He manages to give a finely balanced portrayal, that is both very funny, but also quite subtle, allowing room to show us the sadness of this character. It is, for me, Sellars' best screen performance.

A classic film.


Ah, progress. Never mind that tosh. "I'm All Right Jack" is a hilarious send up of the 20th century very much on point today, an anything-goes capitalist-meets-socialist system where workers and owners are equally victimized.

Peter Sellers won the British Academy Award for Best British Actor for his performance as union leader Fred Kite, beating out a field that year which included Laurence Olivier, Laurence Harvey, Richard Burton, and Peter Finch. Ian Carmichael is the actual lead actor in "I'm All Right Jack", and Kite doesn't even show up until after the first 20 minutes, but Sellers makes Kite a compelling and comedic character worth remembering as a symbol of organized labor run amuk.

A kind of sequel to "Private's Progress", also featuring Carmichael in the role of Stanley Windrush, "I'm All Right Jack" is a swinging social satire. Two factory owners (played by Dennis Price and Richard Attenborough) conspire to create a labor strike at a munitions factory to get a higher price. To do that, they need someone to create a bit of friction. Enter Windrush, a total innocent upper-class twit who only cares about earning his pay, no matter how much that offends Kite and other labor leaders.

"We're living in the welfare state," says the middle manager Hitchcock (Terry-Thomas). "I call it the farewell state."

"I'm All Right Jack" starts out very cheeky indeed, with a surprising eyeful of female nudity circa 1959 and cracks at religion and the military. Later, a stuttering character sees an array of photographers and asks: "Why don't you tell them to f-f-f-photograph something worthwhile."

The only major problem with "I'm All Right Jack" is the slowness of the film right up until Windrush arrives at Missiles Ltd., after which the comedy becomes a kind of classless class comedy, where shrapnel flies thick and fast and no one is immune. Sellers' performance is brilliant, giving you a character who's likable even as he plays the antagonist. You can scorn his love of Stalinist Russia, which he boils down to cornfields and ballet, but you empathize with his fairness (not wanting to fire Windrush is his undoubted downfall) and his sensitivity for the feelings of Mrs. Kite (Irene Handl) and their daughter (Liz Fraser). He's just a bit extreme.

"We cannot and do not accept the principle that incompetence justifies dismissal," Kite argues. "That is victimization."

The real bad guys are the bosses guying the system, though John Boulting, who directed and co-wrote this with Alan Hackney and Frank Harvey, wants you to see the union abuses that make such a scam not only possible but desirable to the upper classes.

Sellers also appears at the film's outset as "Sir John", a men's-club inhabitant who witnesses the end of World War II as an unpleasant upending of the old social order, before disappearing in the postwar wake. "A solid block in what seemed the edifice of an ordered and stable society," is his postscript.

Contrast him with the very hip, 60s-sounding Al Saxon theme song that sticks its post-war, pre-Beatles attitude in your face as smartly as flipping the bird to Churchill (something else we get to see in the first few minutes), and you find yourself watching what had to be for 1959 a very mod film. It still stands up today as one of the best labor-management comedies, even if the British class system it addresses is no more.


If it hadn't been for the fact that a similar (though less cynical) film had been made just a few years earlier (THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT), I might have scored this parody a bit higher. Despite obviously being a comedy, the film is an amazingly insightful attack on the floundering state of British labor following the Second World War. While Britain used to be the most productive country on the planet, during this era they were torn apart by strikes and work slowdowns. Yet the film doesn't just attack labor unions with their unreasonable demands and poor work ethic. It also attacks factory owners who actually exploit this to their own interests. This film is obviously a loud declaration that the British Empire is in fact dead.

The film begins with an upper class twit named 'Windrush' going to work for the first time. However, he really isn't cut out for management despite his Oxford education--and he seems better suited to manual labor. The problem is that after failing again and again in management, he is simply too good as a blue collar worker. This is because he works way too hard and makes all his extremely lazy co-workers look bad! And, when management documents how much work one motivated man CAN do, this ultimately results in a strike, as management wants the workers output to increase--or at least that's what they claimed. All this set in motion by a slow-witted but very decent upper class gent working as a forklift driver!!

The film is very well written and clever. While younger audience members might not appreciate the film's insights, it is funny in a droll sort of way. Additionally, having wonderful actors such as Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas sure didn't hurt! Overall, sharp social and political satire that does a great job of attacking labor and management and giving insights into the decline of the British economy.


A young man (Ian Carmichael) works too fast and causes problems with the labor union in "I'm All Right Jack," a 1959 British film directed by John Boulting. Boulting actually lost a suit against a labor union. This is his revenge.

Stanley Windrush (Carmichael) is from a wealthy family and, after returning from the war, he wants to be in business. It's arranged for him to work at his uncle's firm as a laborer, against the wishes of his aunt (Margaret Rutherford) and work his way up.

Unfortunately, Stanley just doesn't get it. At first he's suspected of being an efficiency expert disguised as an employee, something the whole factory fears. Then he inadvertently does his job in front of an efficiency expert. It's found that he works faster than the other employees. This infuriates the union, who - again - go on strike, which they do every couple of weeks. It takes Stanley a while to figure out what's going on, but he does, in time for a television talk show.

This film is known today for the brilliant performance of Peter Sellers as the shop steward, whose politics, he says, are private. He's fabulous. The film also features Terry Thomas, also very funny, and other excellent actors, such as Dennis Price and Richard Attenborough.

Having worked in theater and read up on a recent Broadway strike, Boulting doesn't miss much. When Windrush asks why a bunch of men playing cards aren't working, in fact, unions often have quotas of how many people have to be hired, whether they're needed or not.

Many people, of course, miss the point of unions. If people treated each other like human beings, we wouldn't have needed unions in the first place. However, "I'm All Right, Jack" understands, as Windrush's impassioned speech tells us. As long as I'm okay, I don't care what happens to you. It's an unfortunate if honest message.

Don't miss this one.


During the 1977 strike at the Grunwick film processing plant in London,a large group of flying pickets led by Mr Arthur Scargill made the journey south from Yorkshire with the intention of preventing the "scabs" from going to work.They failed to do so,meeting firm resistance from the Metropolitan Police,during the course of which one of Mr Scargill's close cohorts was arrested.Once given bail he fled the country on the grounds that he wouldn't receive a fair trial in a police state and fled to Eastern Europe to seek sanctuary.Within a remarkably short time he returned to England,having experienced what living in a police state was really like.That sort of disillusionment I'm sure would have befallen Fred Kite had he ever visited the Workers' Paradise of his imaginings. "All them cornfields...and ballet in the evenings",he rhapsodises at a time when Stalin had only been dead four years.Shop Steward Kite is the sort of slightly potty Socialist whose antics gave birth to the idea of the "Loony Left" in British politics.With a Hitler moustache and an extreme haircut Mr Kite strides round the factory with a face like a bag of hammers followed by his equally surly minions,sowing conflict where there once was peace. Not that his fellow employees need much encouragement to down tools,indeed they seem to spend their days assiduously trying to avoid work.Nor are his employers much better,eternally trying to get the workers to do more for less money.Personnel Manager Mr Terry-Thomas is at his wits' end "You're an absolute Shower",he shouts despairingly to jeers from the workforce. Into this industrial maelstrom comes well-meaning incompetent Stanley Windrush(Mr Ian Carmichael) who has failed dismally at every other career path since leaving the army(see "Private's Progress").He is welcomed by the bosses (Mr Richard Attenborough and Mr Dennis Price as former army colleagues of Windrush) who see him as the right man to totally screw up the factory and leave it open to a takeover by nasty foreigner Mr Marne Maitland.Stanley soon comes to the attention of Fred Kite(Mr Peter Sellers) and his daughter(Miss Liz Fraser).Fred sees Stanley as a fellow intellectual,his daughter sees him as a prospective husband. Determined to offend everybody,"I'm all right Jack" succeeds admirably. There is no point in calling it "racist",it merely reflects the no doubt disgraceful attitudes of half a century ago,and it is an act of cultural vandalism to cut out parts that might offend the more delicate sensibilities of the early 21st century.Censorship is still censorship. Mr Sellers has been rightly lauded for his portrayal of the ludicrous self-important but pathetic shop steward.He could easily have turned him into a monster with no redeeming features ,a comedy villain,but he has succeeded in the much more difficult task of making Kite a man we can ridicule but at the same time feel some sympathy for,perhaps even a little affection.In one memorable scene he is matched blow for blow by Mr Terry- Thomas as circumstances force them to share a room.Accompanied by a superb trombone solo on the soundtrack(Don Lusher?)Mr Terry-Thomas picks his way gingerly through discarded clothing and unwashed cutlery,his moustache nearly drooping with unhappiness. Sam Kydd and Victor Madren are particularly telling as a couple of disgruntled workers,but the whole cast is a delightful I - Spy of the cream of British light comedy actors. Even if the premise that British industry is corrupt from top to bottom offends you,please remember that the Boulting Brothers did exactly the same axe job on the Army and the legal profession,and that should make you feel better.


After the second world war is over, a new spirit of togetherness is fostered in the UK, and industry blossoms. Eager to get involved, the well-to-do Stanley Windrush tries to get a management job but fails. However some friends of the family, head of industry types get him a job with the workers at a missile factory. However his enthusiasm gets him in trouble with the all-powerful unions – but is that what the bosses planned for all along?

First of all I cannot believe that this film has so few votes and comments (at time of writing this it's 270 and 5 respectively). I know this doesn't correlate with the number of users who have seen the film but it is a fair representation! I find that shocking, as this is one of the stronger satires I've seen for a good long while. The plot is a sort of comedy ploy by the bosses to shift work around to other firms (by relying on their own firm striking) and get personally rich as a result, however it is the satirical edge that makes it worth watching. Both bosses and unions get it in the neck here – neither coming off well in the wash!

Bosses are seen as profit driven and not looking at the greater good, workers on the other hand are seen as looking after themselves while the unions cause more problems than they solve! There is an element of truth in all this – that's why it is funny – although it is obviously laid on a bit strong in the name of comedy. As a current worker in the UK manufacturing industry (yes, there is some left – although it's an American company!) I am greatly amused by the caricatures as some elements (happily less each year) of them can still be seen in my place of employment! The management get off quite light as they are actually, at core, trying to improve the business's efficiency and thus compete with foreign firms. The workers and the unions get the hardest stick which is a little unfair – after all the workers make the least and are the ones at risk, while the unions have brought about great steps in workers rights. For example it was funny for me to see FLT's moving around in heavily pedestrianised areas – nowadays many larger factories will be totally segregated between vehicles and workers.

The plot does manage to mix the swipes so that it seems fair on the surface – it is a pretty damning dig at British industry and, from modern views, it is quite prophetic as British industry has really fallen in the past few decades. The `one out, all out' strike mentality is well spoofed here but there's no doubting the damage that it (with other factors) has had. The only downside of the film looking back, is the racist views and racist language that is used at a couple of moments – but in fairness these are not THAT offensive and can be overlooked as the culture of the film at the time.

Despite the quite anti-union feel to the film, Sellers does well to not overplay his character. The socialist worker type is really easy to get laughs off but Sellers brings out character and doesn't just go for an out and out mockery of the character. Carmichael is OK in the lead but is overshadowed by the sheer depth of excellent support roles. Le Mesurier's excellent, twitchy efficiency expert, Thomas' manager – sweating and terrified of the workers he calls `an absolute shower' in the way only he can say it! Further faces fall into the film in the distinguished shapes of Attenborough, Rutherford and Price to name a few.

Overall this film comes out as a very classy satire. It hits the nail on the head and, over 40 years later, much of it can still be seen today – and the damage from the stuff it satirises is being felt. The film is funny if you have a passing understanding of British industry in terms of politics, workers rights and unions – even without this understanding the central plot is broad enough and funny enough to be worth seeing!


Superior example of British comedy film making amongst a sea of duds. British film-makers never got it more right than here. Tremendous story and script plus wonderful performances from a whole host of character actors, especially Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas.

Very funny satire on British industrial relations.


It's hard to believe this movie was released fifty years ago, barring its distinctly non-PC references to ethnic minorities.

Prophetic in its portrayal of the trade unions versus the establishment and the exploitation of the individual in favour of political power and enrichment for those few pulling the strings (as they shake hands behind closed doors), this is a story that manages to be provocative whilst maintaining a pleasantly light-hearted air, broaching subjects that continue to be relevant in Britain today.

Classic performances from Peter Sellers, Ian Carmichael, Terry Thomas and Richard Attenborough, and smaller but equally commendable appearances of Margaret Rutherford and Irene Handl.

Deliciously classic British comedy that remains fresh and immensely enjoyable today.


How insane is a movie that begins and ends in a nudist colony? That just sets the stage for this brilliant British comedy/satire of labor troubles at Missiles Ltd. All is not what it appears in management as the less than honorable Director and his cronies arrange for conditions that cause the workers to strike, thereby benefiting the bosses in their nefarious plans.

Ian Carmichael is the wide eyed innocent, penniless but upper class young man who is the catalyst for the madness that ensues. Carmichael is spot on in his characterization and those who only know him as Lord Peter Wimsey, will be surprised at his light comedic touch. Even his name, Stanley Windrush, is whimsical.

Peter Sellers is a standout as Kite, the Union boss who has delusions of grandeur and sports an Adolph Hitler moustache. His use of the Queen's English is less than perfect and his long-winded pronouncements are priceless.

The supporting cast is unparalleled........Terry-Thomas is hysterical (as always) as the head of the Works Committee and his reading of the contents from the suggestion box is a small highlight of the film..........Liz Frazer as Kite's very blonde daughter, who asks "Who do you think you are, Diana Dors?".........Dennis Price, always the sophisticate, and Richard Attenborough as his oily partner in crime, are delightfully dishonest and also sport strange moustaches....John LeMesurier as the twitchy time management expert. The list goes on and on.

You don't want to miss this film. It is a showcase for some of Britain's finest film actors and is truly a delight.


This is frequently biting, often just funny, but overall it is more sad commentary.

I am reminded of an Associated Press photo from about 1987. The Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, had just voted -- again -- to turn down the unionizing effort of the United Auto Workers. Employees were quoted as saying this was a victory for the workers.

Writing in the spring of 2009, just a few days after Chrysler has announced its bankruptcy, and after meeting in my current geographical location, time after time, people who had fled Detroit carrying horror stories of union corruption and, face it, complicity by industry and management, I wonder if we will ever have civilization and a sound economy again.

"I'm All Right Jack" manages to paint a sadly accurate picture of a culture perfectly spelled out by the Stanley character when he throws the Marxian motto of "From each ..." into the face of the Kite character, the union steward -- beautifully played, by the way, by the brilliant Peter Sellers.

What isn't spelled out, but ought to be obvious to any thinking viewer, is that the evils of the situation portrayed in "I'm All Right Jack" don't come from corrupt management or corrupt unions alone but from an acceptance of and institutionalization of the principle of coercion.

Let me stress that one can watch "I'm All Right Jack" with your thinking process turned off and you can just enjoy the superlative acting and the funny situations, but I urge you to think, to understand there really is an important point being made, even if not one the makers themselves necessarily intended.


Script, direction, players: impossible to improve upon. Reminiscent of Swift or Pope: "God and Nature bade self-love and social be the same." Cornfields and ballet, in other words. Immortal and unforgettable lines, as is the delicate question put by the spindle-polisher: "Is them your own teeth ?" The vivid terms trip off the tongue. Garadene swine. Jeropardizing wilfully. Absolute shower (filthy beast). Not properly developed ? Quite a job. Commercial intercourse. Demarcation. Do you think you're Diana Dors ? One of those horrid unions, like the Soviet Union. Revelant. No point in working for nothing. 'Ere, shut the bleeding door ! Export or die: missiles for peace in the Middle East. We have the bird by the bush in the hand. Dismissal for incompetence is totally unacceptable victimization. Up at Balliol summer school you get very good toast and marmalade.

Every scene a work of dramatic art. Wonderful cameo of the benefits of Frisko. Especially great is the deft handling by Terry-Thomas, that dynamic bundle, of the Works Committee. Handl and Rutherford in perfect harmonious understanding. In the end you just feel sorry for poor old Fred Kite. He'll never have a better part to play. A masterpiece: the British converse of "On the Waterfront".


This is a breathtakingly bold and audacious satirical film which was frankly unprecedented for British cinema in the 1950s. Peter Sellers stars in a serious role, played half-straight and half-caricatured, as a labour union shop steward and 'Chairman of the Works Committee' at a factory of an arms firm called Missiles Limited. The film was written and directed by John Boulting and produced by his brother Roy Boulting. The well-know comedian of the time, Terry-Thomas, plays a scheming capitalist fraudster. Ian Carmichael excels as an upper middle class twit of unparalleled naivety and idiocy who gets a job as an ordinary worker and discovers that he loves it, leading to all sorts of class complications. He had been directed by John Boulting three years earlier in PRIVATE'S PROGRESS (1956, see my review), where he was even more brilliant. One of the best and most hilarious performances is by Irene Handl, that marvellous cockney character actress who tells everybody where to get off in no uncertain terms, and in this instance, her husband Peter Sellers (an earlier incarnation of Jeremy Corbyn). The cast also includes Dennis Price, Margaret Rutherford, Victor Maddern, the deliciously droll and hilarious glamour gal Liz Fraser, John Le Mesurier, Kenneth Griffith, and Raymond Huntley. In other words, just about everybody who was anybody in British film comedy at the time is in the film, the only actor seeming slightly ill at ease being Attenborough, who was never good at being funny. The Boulting Brothers certainly pulled this off, and the film is a famous classic. Their portrayal of corporate corruption was done with first-hand knowledge, as they were expert at ripping off their own company themselves, as I know from personal experience, when I refused to cooperate with them in a fraudulent transaction, so I do know what I am talking about. They were brilliantly talented but they were corrupt when it came to money and were quite brazen about it. So this film rips the lid off the most amazing collection of national hypocrisies, and we nearly die laughing and gasping with delight at the film's ingenuity and breath-taking boldness.


I waited until I watched Private's Progress to get a feel for these characters from where they originated before writing about I'm All Right Jack. The only question was how did at least two of the repeating characters get out of the jackpot they were left in the previous film in order to be characters here. By all rights Dennis Price and Richard Attenborough should have been doing some time in Her Majesty's jail.

Price and Attenborough, along with Terry-Thomas and Ian Carmichael repeat their characters from Private's Progress. World War II is over and somehow everybody's back to where they were before, Price and Attenborough up to some nefarious scheme, Ian Carmichael still a polished, but mindless upper class twit who can't even fit in at university and Terry-Thomas just being Terry-Thomas.

Carmichael is almost Stan Laurel like in his innocence about all that goes on around him. He joins the working class work force and he muddles into a situation that has the potential to destroy labor/ management relations built up from World War II and the Labour government that took power. Especially if radical union leader Peter Sellers has his way, who joins this cast and fits right into the fun.

A lot of the same themes are repeated from the Alec Guinness classic The Man In The White Suit and really both ought to be seen back to back unless one wants to view I'm All Right Jack with Private's Progress. Either way it's a fun filled evening you're in store for.


Anyone who thinks Old British films are 'quaint' should watch this, one of the sharpest satires ever made. A finer film on industrial relations has never been made and I doubt could be made now in the current climate of intellectual dishonesty. The film makers do not take the easy route in blaming one party or another but holds them all up to scrutiny. The bosses, the unionists, the clients are all (rightly) shown as self motivated and cynical. Fred Kite is a character very familiar even in modern British politics (Bob Crowe still thinks and talks very much like him), with his hilariously Utopian views on the impoverished horror state of the USSR "fields of corn and ballet in the evening". The bunkum of the bosses is hardly less true and delightful to behold.


The old regime of English industrialism dies off as a war ends, and the new regime begins. But one must learn the business from the ground up, so what better way than to pose as a factory worker? The nephew of the head of the company goes on staff as a line worker, doubles output due to his speed, and creates disorder by simply being more efficient than the cocky vet's on the staff. Management panics as a strike is declared, and chaos ensues.

The executives, advertising department, personnel management, warehouse supervisors and regular staff each get their skewering, and who better to act out all these parts than Britain's great comic stock company, which includes Ian Carmichael, Terry- Thomas, Peter Sellers, Dennis Price and Richard Attenborough, as well as a cameo by the ever popular Margaret Rutherford. As the deliciously "Dumb Dora" type, Liz Fraser steals each scene with a double dose of very noticeable attributes, simply adding a pout or a moderately funny line to pop out the viewer's eyes or gain a chuckle.

While this is more a commentary on the business side of the British class system, it has certain aspects that American audiences can appreciate as well. At times, the men seem to all be speaking as if having just whiffed helium, and certain eccentricities will provide a different type of amusement for us Yanks than it would for traditional British audiences. Sellers is absolutely unrecognizable here. I easily noticed him in the opening sequence in the first of the two characters he played over his second role.


I'M ALL RIGHT JACK is a top comedy from John Boulting which makes use of the extraordinary talents of an ensemble British cast to fine effect. At first glance the tale of capitalist businessmen and their unionist rivals sounds like it could make for a deathly dull production, but I'M ALL RIGHT JACK turns out to be anything but boring. Instead it's a laugh-a-minute story packed with great characterisations and an endless parade of famous faces.

The story also casts light on the politics surrounding business in the 1950s so it works well as a historical document. Ian Carmichael stars in a role much better suited to his talents than the last film I saw him in, THE BIG MONEY. Peter Sellers is almost unrecognisable again while Terry-Thomas remains a delight after all these years. The supporting cast is endless: Richard Attenborough, Dennis Price, Margaret Rutherford, Miles Malleson, Marne Maitland, Liz Fraser, Irene Handl, Kenneth Grittih, Victor Maddern, Raymond Huntley, John Le Mesurier, John Van Eyssen, Sam Kydd, Wally Patch, Marianne Stone, Basil Dignam, I could go on. It's a treat for fans of British comedy from the era.