Next to No Time

Watch Next to No Time

  • NR
  • 1958
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 5.7  (192)

Next to No Time is a fast-paced British comedy from 1958 about a man named David Webb (Kenneth More), a successful but overworked executive in London who suddenly finds himself with only two days left to live. The film follows David as he spends these last days trying to cram in all of the things he has been too busy to do in his life.

Although the concept sounds dark, the film is actually a hilarious and whimsical romp, full of witty banter, mistaken identities, and zany hijinks. As David frantically tries to put his affairs in order, he finds himself getting into all sorts of predicaments and misunderstandings.

One of the main sources of his troubles is a beautiful young woman named Linda (Betsy Drake) who he meets on a train to Cornwall. Linda is a free-spirited artist who is travelling to visit her aunt, and David becomes immediately smitten with her. However, Linda mistakenly thinks that David is a private detective who has been hired to follow her, and chaos ensues as David tries to explain the truth and convince her of his good intentions.

Meanwhile, David's loyal secretary Miss Potter (played by the wonderful Joyce Grenfell) is left to deal with the fallout of his sudden departure from work. She has to contend with a difficult client who is expecting a meeting with David, as well as a pair of hapless minor characters who keep showing up at the office and causing trouble.

The film moves at a breakneck pace, with a series of escalating misunderstandings and mishaps keeping the audience on their toes. There are car chases, mistaken identities, and even a visit to a nudist beach. As David and Linda's romantic entanglements become more and more complicated, the film builds towards a hilarious climax at a wedding.

One of the strengths of the film is the charm of its lead actors. Kenneth More is perfectly cast as the frantic but endearing David, and his chemistry with Betsy Drake is palpable. Drake is a delight as the sassy and independent Linda, and the scenes between her and More crackle with energy.

The supporting cast is also excellent, particularly Harry Green as a cantankerous but lovable old hotel proprietor in Cornwall. There are also some great bit parts from character actors like Michael Bentine and Sid James.

The film was directed by the prolific and versatile Norman Panama, who also co-wrote the script with Melvin Frank. Panama was known for his sharp sense of humor and his ability to blend comedy with drama, and Next to No Time is a prime example of his talents. The film is expertly paced and tightly edited, with not a wasted moment.

The production values are also top-notch, with evocative cinematography by Jack Hildyard and a jaunty score by Ron Goodwin. The film captures both the bustle of London and the idyllic charm of Cornwall, making for a visually engaging and entertaining experience.

Overall, Next to No Time is a delightful and underrated gem of British comedy. Its fast pace, witty script, and charming performances make it a must-see for fans of classic comedy.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (192)