Keep It Clean (1956)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Ronald Shiner & James Hayter in Keep It Clean (1956)

Old Fashioned Clean

Bert Lane (Ronald Shiner) is the head of the advertising department from Mr. Bouncenboy (James Hayter), but Bert is waiting for his brother-in-law Peter (Colin Gordon) to come up with an invention which he can market and will make them all rich. Trouble is that whilst Peter invents a miracle cleaning machine Mr. Bouncenboy is more concerned about keeping Mrs Anstey (Jean Cadell) and her Purity League happy after she furiously called to complain about an advert in the paper.

As I watched "Keep It Clean" it made me wonder what a young audience would think of it now as early on in the movie Bert Lane proclaims an advert should appeal to the man as he pays for the product not the wife who would use it. Now in fairness there is a bit of tongue in cheek to this as the character of Bert Lane is not only a throwback but also one of those classic duckers and divers who tries to talk and compliment himself out of any problems only to get himself further in trouble with each attempt.

The thing about "Keep It Clean" is that it is a movie which you could only describe as being full of energetic over reacting. As such this movie jaunts along at quite a tick; in fact I reckon Ronald Shiner must have been knackered after filming some of the scenes. But then we have Shiner, Hayter and pretty much every male character over delivering the facial expressions and reactions when it comes to the comedy. It does make it very much a product of its era as do some of the attitudes to women in this movie, in fact it also shows a lot of men being leering fools as well.

What this all boils down to is that "Keep it Clean" is simply a comedy of its era which now is almost funny as a look at what was once funny. But there is nothing in this which stands out as memorable although for "Carry on" movie fans there is an appearance in this from Joan Sims.


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