Watch Watch Your Stern
- 1 hr 30 min
Watch Your Stern is a British comedy from 1960, starring Kenneth Connor, Eric Barker, and Leslie Phillips. The movie is directed by Gerald Thomas and written by Peter Rogers and Norman Hudis. It is one of the earliest films made by the highly successful production company, the Rank Organisation. The film takes place on board the HMS Berkeley, a Royal Navy frigate that is tasked with carrying a group of VIPs on a pleasure cruise. Among these VIPs are Lady Florence, a wealthy aristocrat, her niece Susan, and a group of schoolboys who are on a trip organized by their schoolmaster, Mr. Ambrose. Also on board are a motley crew of Navy sailors and officers, including the ship's captain, Commander Brian Ogle, and his second in command, Lieutenant Pouter.
The film starts with the Berkeley setting sail from Portsmouth, en route to Copenhagen. Almost immediately, things start to go wrong. The first mishap occurs when the ship's cook, Taffy Evans, attempts to make a cake for Lady Florence, but accidentally spills salt into the mixture, resulting in a disastrously salty cake. This is followed by a series of other comical incidents, as the crew members try to deal with various problems that arise.
One of the main plot points of the film revolves around a group of spies who are attempting to board the ship disguised as crew members. The spies are led by a sinister German named Otto Kreiger, who is trying to steal a top-secret military device that is being transported aboard the Berkeley. The device is so valuable that the British government has assigned a group of agents to protect it, but they are sadly ineffectual, and the spies are able to outsmart them at every turn.
As the voyage continues, the various characters on board the ship begin to interact with one another in unexpected ways. Lady Florence, who is initially horrified by the rowdy sailors, finds herself drawn to the ship's charming captain, Commander Ogle. Meanwhile, Mr. Ambrose becomes increasingly irritated by the misbehavior of his pupils, especially when they start to show an unhealthy interest in the ship's weaponry.
Overall, Watch Your Stern is a charming and lighthearted comedy that is full of silly jokes and slapstick humor. The film is notable for its talented cast, which includes several veteran British actors, such as Joan Sims and Hattie Jacques. Additionally, the movie features a catchy theme song, which became a popular hit in the UK in the early 1960s.
The film is also notable for its depiction of the Royal Navy, which is shown in a somewhat caricatured manner. The sailors are portrayed as rough and boisterous, while the officers are depicted as dignified and serious. There is also a sense of nostalgia in the movie, as it harks back to a time when the Royal Navy was a central part of British life and identity.
One of the film's key strengths is its ability to balance humor with a sense of danger and tension. While much of the movie is played for laughs, there are also several scenes that are genuinely suspenseful, particularly those involving the spies and their attempts to steal the military device. These scenes help to keep the audience engaged and invested in the story, even as they are laughing at the various mishaps that occur on board the ship.
In terms of its production values, Watch Your Stern is a modest film, with relatively simple sets and a limited budget. However, the movie makes up for this with its energy and enthusiasm. The actors throw themselves into their roles with gusto, and the film's fast-paced editing keeps the action moving along at a brisk pace.
In conclusion, Watch Your Stern is a delightful and entertaining comedy that is well worth watching. While it may not be considered a cinematic masterpiece, it is a fun and enjoyable movie that is sure to put a smile on your face. Its mix of humor, suspense, and nostalgia make it a charming artifact of 1960s British cinema, and a testament to the enduring appeal of classic comedy.