Josefine is a young streetwalker in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. She manages to sleep her way to the top by marrying a British aristocrat, and she delights in telling ribald stories of her sordid past to moralistic prudes.
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Regimental Sergeant Major Lauderdale is a by-the-book, strict disciplinarian, who seems like an anachronism in a sleepy peacetime African outpost of the modern British commonwealth. Rdiculed behind his back by his subordinate N.C.O.s, he must play host to a liberal women M.P. making a tour of the base. However, when an ambitious African officer, who happens to be a protegè of the M.P., initiates a coup d'etat against Captain Abraham, the lawful African commandant, the resourceful sergeant major uses all his military training to save his men from a certain firing squad.Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I remember seeing this film when it first came out and recall it made an impression on me as a young man. Saw it again last night on Fox Classics during war film week in the first week of November and it impresses me even more.
Since the first viewing I have experienced a military career in the air force and as a trainee pilot our WOD (Warrant Officer Disciplinary) could have been RSM Lauderdale to a tee. They just seem to know all about life and know what to do or say in any situation. And they have a wonderful innate knowledge of the big picture as well as the most intimate attention to detail. I am sure that this type of military rank was a vital cog in winning every war that has ever been won.
Loved the script - why, oh why, don't the smash, crash, wallop Hollywood script writers look at these old classics and learn how to put an interactive character piece together which can keep you on the edge of your seat without having cars smash through plate glass windows? Richard Attenborough certainly earned his BAFTA for his performance not only for the way he delivered his lines but his visual representation to every bat of his eyelid and twitch of his moustache.
My only criticism is the fact that being low budget it is quite obvious that it was shot in England especially when you can see English trees and houses in the background in some of the scenes. If only it could have been shot on location like "Zulu" it could have been even greater. But then again the strength of the film is the script and how cleverly it covered the type of dilemma which we still face to-day. Makes me wonder why it has never been done on the stage or maybe it has.
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