The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) starring Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, John Turnbull, Richard Wattis, Joyce Grenfell directed by Frank Launder Movie Review

The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Margaret Rutherford and Alastair Sim in The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)

Carry on Co-ed

It's a new term at Nutbourne College and Headmaster Wetherby Pond (Alastair Sim - Hue and Cry) hopes it will be his last as he is in line for a promotion to a bigger school. But his plans are disrupted when he learns at the last minute that the Ministry of Education have taken it upon themselves to merge Nutbourne College with St Swithin’s with the students and teachers of St Swithin's relocating to Nutbourne College. The trouble is that Nutbourne is an all boy's school and St. Swithin's is an all girl's school which not only leads to obvious issues but also battles between Wetherby and Muriel Whitchurch (Margaret Rutherford - Passport to Pimlico) the headmistress of St Swithin's as they each try to take control of the school.

Classic British comedy from the era when British comedy was at its best is the simplest way to sum up this comedy gem from 1950. In fact "The Happiest Days of Your Life" does not need much explaining or in depth analysis because what it is is a farce about a boy's school and girl's school forced to cohabit with obvious problems. But whilst completely obvious it is full of sharp writing, sharp performances and lots of it as right from the opening scenes the banter runs quick and the actor deliver it with exquisite timing.

But the thing about "The Happiest Days of Your Life" is that it brings together two of Britain's greatest comedy talents Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford. It is screen gold when ever these two greats share a scene from the perfect timing as the banter flies between them but it is also in their mannerisms as they react to each other which has you mesmerised and in fits. When Sim says "hell no" when Rutherford says her girls can cook as the staff walk out it has you in fits because it is the combination of amusing writing, expert delivery and great mannerisms as Sim brings comic fear to his voice. Sim and Rutherford are not the only good performances and the likes of Richard Wattis and Joyce Grenfell add to the hilarity, even George Cole shows up in a small but fun cameo.

What this all boils down to is that "The Happiest Days of Your Life" is a simple comedy but a great comedy thanks to great writing, great acting and basically because of having Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford on screen together.