Film Illustrated Monthly – Aug 1949

Film’s Movie Review

Dear Mr. Prohack

Cecil Parker, Glynis Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Dirk Bogarde, Sheila Sim

EVER THOUGHT what you’d do if you carne into a fortune? Well, in this Wessex film it happens to Mr. Prohack (Cecil Parker), an Under-Secretary at the Treasury. He is known as the “Terror of the Treasury” because of his rigid hand with the public spending money. But when the cash drops into his own lap he is bewildered. Not so his family. His wife, Eve (Hermione Baddeley) immediately swaps their modest home for an ornate mansion. His “bright” son, Charles (Dirk Bogarde) talks him into supporting a precarious investment trust. Everybody is after him with a “proposition.” In self-defence, he engages a pretty secretary (Glynis Johns) to keep them off. She quickly interests herself in his son, Charles. Only Mr. Prohack’s daughter, Mary (Sheila Sim) stands by him – and then she, too, helps to grey his hair by running away with an under-paid and hard-up civil servant.

POOR Mr. Prohack begins to long again for the simple life behind his desk in Whitehall. He is now praying that his city friends will lose his fortune for him, as appears only too probable. They double it. After further complications and embarrassment, Mr. Prohack asserts himself and regains control of his household. When he returns to the Treasury he finds his chief staring perplexedly at a trunk containing £250,000 in notes – “conscience money ” from an “anonymous” donor. “I wonder who could have sent that,” murmurs Mr. Prohack with a contented look.

THIS NEW comedy by Wessex Films is full of quiet fun, with the usual smooth performances by Cecil Parker (“Quartet”) and Hermione Baddeley (“Passport to Pimlico”), but it also gives moviegoers a chance to see more of Dirk Bogarde. FILM tips him for the really big-time before long. Watch Bogarde…