In the Doghouse (1962) Leslie Phillips, Peggy Cummins, Hattie Jacques, James Booth, Dick Bentley, Colin Gordon Movie Review

In the Doghouse (1962)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Leslie Phillips in In the Doghouse (1962)

Vet in Distress

After several failed attempts at passing the veterinary exam, Jimmy Fox-Upton (Leslie Phillips) gets a stroke of luck when the exam he sits happens to be an old one which he knows inside out. Now having qualified as a vet Jimmy manages to buy an existing practice from a doddery old vet who is selling up and at a cheap price. Despite making plenty of mistakes as well as coming up against Bob Skeffington (James Booth) who has set up a practice near by, Jimmy slowly comes good and also finds romance when he meets Sally (Peggy Cummins).

In a way "In the Doghouse" reminds me of the "Doctor in ..." movies which for a time starred Dirk Bogarde, in fact I almost wondered if someone thought about how they could rework the humour from those movies in to some thing else so we have the switch from doctor to vet. As such there is a certain amount of familiarity to "In the Doghouse" with Leslie Phillips playing that slightly accident prone charmer, the sort of guy who turns up late and tries to bluff his way through a lesson. And like with other comedies of the era there isn't really a main storyline but more a snapshot of Jimmy's escapades as an inexperienced and accident prone vet as such we have the rivalry with another vet and we also see him dealing with those who want to put healthy animals down.

Esma Cannon in In the Doghouse (1962)

What also adds to that air of familiarity when it comes to "In the Doghouse" is some familiar faces doing pretty much the usual thing with Leslie Phillips doing bumbling suave whilst the likes of Hattie Jacques, Joan Hickson, Fenella Fielding and Patsy Rowlands show up in supporting roles. In fact one of the best parts of "In the Doghouse" is a scene featuring the wonderful Esma Cannon playing a dear little lady who brings her old dog in to see Jimmy, it is a touching scene which in truth is a little out of place in what had been purely comedy up until then but it is simple and beautiful.

What this all boils down to is that "In the Doghouse" is a routine British comedy from the 1960s with some familiar faces and plenty of familiar comedy with accidents and men chatting up women whilst looking down their tops. But whilst there is nothing to make this stand out from the plethora of other British comedies from the era it is still an entertaining distraction.