WriterJack Davies, Michael Pertwee Release date13 June 1951 CastAlastair Sim (Captain James Deniston Russell), Fay Compton (Agnes Russell), Guy Middleton (Simon Russell), George Cole (Herbert Russell), Hugh Griffith (Henry Augustus Russell), Ernest Thesiger (Lawyer Endicott) Similar moviesCity Lights, The To Do List, Cashback, Out Cold, Indecent Proposal, Never Been Kissed
Audrey hepburn in laughter in paradise 1951
Laughter in Paradise is a British comedy film released in 1951. The film stars Alastair Sim, Fay Compton, George Cole and Guy Middleton. The film was remade in 1970 as Some Will, Some Won't.
When wealthy, well-known practical joker Henry Russell (Hugh Griffith) dies, four relatives find out that they stand to each inherit £50,000 ... provided that they commit acts that are completely contrary to their natures. Law-abiding Deniston Russell (Alastair Sim), a retired army officer who writes lurid novels under several fictional names, has to get himself arrested and jailed for exactly 28 days within a week. Difficult, snobbish Agnes Russell (Fay Compton) has to find employment as a domestic servant in a middle-class home, again within a week, and keep her position for a month. Simon Russell (Guy Middleton) is a womanising cad; his task is to marry the first single woman he speaks to. Timid Herbert Russell (George Cole) is assigned to hold up the bank manager he works for in his office, using a mask and a toy pistol, and obtain the bank keys for two minutes.
Deniston is thwarted repeatedly in his attempts, but finally manages to complete his task. It costs him his fiancée Elizabeth Robson (Joyce Grenfell) when he is brought up before the magistrate, Elizabeth's father, but is surprised to discover it is a cost he is quite willing to pay.
Agnes ends up working for irascible Gordon Webb (John Laurie). When he sacks her, she offers him a large sum to keep her on. He engages private detective Roger Godfrey (Anthony Steel) to find out what she is up to, while taking advantage of the odd situation by making her life even more difficult than before. Roger falls in love with Gordon's long-suffering daughter Joan (Veronica Hurst), but she is unwilling to marry him as her father depends on her. After Agnes persuades her to change her mind, Gordon sacks her.
When Herbert finally gathers the nerve to go through with his assignment, he inadvertently foils an actual robbery and becomes a hero and is rewarded with a branch managership.
Simon speaks first to Frieda, a cigarette girl he knows, but hides this fact in order to hunt for a wealthier wife. After he accomplishes his task, he discovers that he has married a woman as unscrupulous (and as poor) as himself, the niece of his butler, having made the mistake of telling his butler the whole story.
When the executor gathers the four heirs together, he informs them that there is no money; it was Henry's last practical joke. Agnes, Deniston and Herbert burst into laughter. Simon is annoyed at first, until he happens to look outside at his conniving wife, waiting with a bottle of champagne. Then he too joins in the merriment.
Alastair Sim as Deniston Russell
Fay Compton as Agnes Russell
Guy Middleton as Simon Russell
George Cole as Herbert Russell
Hugh Griffith as Henry Russell
Ernest Thesiger as Endicott
Beatrice Campbell as Lucille Grayson, the woman Simon marries
Mackenzie Ward as Benson, Simon's butler
Joyce Grenfell as Elizabeth Robson, Deniston's fiancée
A. E. Matthews as Sir Charles Robson, Elizabeth's father
John Laurie as Gordon Webb
Veronica Hurst as Joan Webb, Gordon's daughter
Eleanor Summerfield as Sheila Wilcott, Deniston's secretary
Anthony Steel as Roger Godfrey
Charlotte Mitchell as Ethel, Agnes' maid
Leslie Dwyer as Police station sergeant
Colin Gordon as Police station constable
Ronald Adam as Wagstaffe, the bank manager
Michael Pertwee as Stewart
Mary Germaine as Susan Heath
Audrey Hepburn as Frieda. This was Hepburn's first professional appearance on film (save for a brief role in a 1948 Dutch film entitled Dutch in Seven Lessons). The filming of the scene in which Hepburn appears (somewhat against her later "type") was later recreated in the 2000 biopic The Audrey Hepburn Story starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Audrey has two scenes as a cigarette girl, totalling 43 seconds.
Noel Howlett as Clerk of the Court
Martin Boddey as Store detective
Arthur Howard as passenger in train with Herbert (uncredited)
Laughter in Paradise was the fourth most popular film at the British box office in 1951.
While The New York Times called the film a "merely pleasant, not especially surprising, comedy", the Radio Times gave the film four out of five stars, David Parkinson praising the "fantastic performance of Alastair Sim as the henpecked thriller writer", adding, "the scene in which he tries to shoplift is one of the funniest in a career overladen with choice comic moments." while Britmovie called the film "a sure-fire British comedy that's sprightly execution doesn’t leave many dull moments."