An altruistic Dame (Athene Seyler), a former Army major (Terry-Thomas), an etiquette teacher (Hattie Jacques) and a nervous pot mender (Elspeth Duxbury) all live in the same, dull apartment complex and all crave excitement. After replacing a stolen mink, they decide to steal fur, convert it to cash and give it away to charities.
Make Mine Mink (1960) banks on one joke - the dichotomy between stuffy tea times and scruffy black market dealings- but it works. The earnest line reading brings hilarity to this film.
Athene Seyler as Dame Beatrice is absolutely winning as the main thief with a heart of gold. There is a scene in which she wants to get into a secret backroom to steal fur coats. She smile prettily and says in loud voice, "Is this the place where the illegal gambling goes on?" She's also wearing a garment from speakeasy days - a visual joke that had me in stitches.
Terry-Thomas is the popcorn-selling name here. He runs his gang of misfits with military precision (or tries to). His murmured cracks and breathless one-liners gave me a chuckle or two. It would be another three years before he would play his most famous version of a late-blooming thief in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
|Dame Beatrice meets her upscale "fence."|
There is an endless stream of funny and strange characters introduced whose story lines never go anywhere, including Kenneth Williams as a friend of Dame Beatrice's family who is secretly an upscale black market furrier. (His modern office is to die for!) You really want each of the odd, little, side moments to expand into their own separate movie.
We recommend Make Mine Mink (1960) for a rainy afternoon.
What's your favorite Terry-Thomas film?