School For Scoundrels. Image shows from L to R: Henry R. Palfrey (Ian Carmichael), Mr. S. Potter (Alastair Sim). Copyright: Guardsman Films.

School For Scoundrels

School For Scoundrels. Image shows from L to R: Henry R. Palfrey (Ian Carmichael), April Smith (Janette Scott), Mr. S. Potter (Alastair Sim), Raymond Delauney (Terry-Thomas). Copyright: Guardsman Films.

School For Scoundrels

Comedy about a born loser who enrols at the College of Lifemanship and learns how to charm and ease his way to the top with the minimum of effort

Stephen Potter
Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Janette Scott, Alastair Sim, Dennis Price, Edward Chapman, Peter Jones, Kynaston Reeves and others
Patricia Moyes, Hal E. Chester and Peter Ustinov
Robert Hamer and Cyril Frankel

Despite a well-paid job as the current director of his family's small but lucrative city firm, Palfrey & Co., smart suits, and a pleasing manner, Henry Palfrey is unlucky. Catastrophically unlucky.

In the office his staff do not respect him; at the tennis club he is second-fiddle despite being an accomplished player; and he generally attracts calamity and misfortune in every area of his life.

One such accident, however, leads to a chance meeting with the beautiful April Smith, with whom Henry is instantly smitten. Taking her for dinner, the couple bump into a fellow tennis club member, the incredibly smooth Raymond Delauney, who takes an instant shine to April himself, and sets out to show up Henry for his own aggrandisement.

On this occasion, however, Henry Palfrey has had enough. Chancing upon an advert for a Yeovil-based "College of Lifemanship", he leaves London immediately for a rigorous course of self-improvement, confidence-raising, tactics, skills and ploys to ensure that, in any situation, he can be firm and have the upper hand; and ultimately, win the girl.

Raymond Delauney won't know what's hit him...

Production Details

UK certificate
97 minutes
Release date
Thursday 24th March 1960
Production company
Also known as
  • School For Scoundrels or 'How To Win Without Actually Cheating' (Other official name)
Black and white
Music composed and conducted by John Addison and played by Sinfonia of London.
Laugh track

Broadcast details

Last repeat
Thursday 13th June 2019 at 3:15pm on BBC2

Website links


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