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The three films in this Terry Thomas Collection--The Naked Truth, Too Many Crooks and Make Mine Mink--are each an unalloyed delight from beginning to end. Though produced on slim budgets they possess witty scripts by Michael Pertwee, deft direction in two instances by Mario Zampi, inventive music scores and marvellous casts featuring two generations of British actors, from Athene Seyler to a young Kenneth Williams. Individually and as an ensemble these players are a pleasure to watch. But of course Terry Thomas, the catalyst of the collection, runs the gamut with a plethora of facial expressions, body language and verbal repartee that contribute so much to the unbuttoned joy of each film.
In the earliest of them, The Naked Truth (1957), TT plays a dodgy peer of the realm being blackmailed in the company of Peter Sellers, Peggy Mount and Shirley Eaton by a gutter press journalist, Dennis Price ("Don't try to appeal to my better nature, because I haven't one"). The moments of slapstick are brought off to a tee as when the larger-than-life Peggy Mount attempts a suicide drop from her window to be saved by an awning on a shop front.
Too Many Crooks (1959) has TT being blackmailed once again, this time for the hoards he's stashed away as a renowned tax dodger. Look out for the very funny court scene, where TT makes three appearances on separate charges, before a bemused magistrate, John Le Mesurier.
Make Mine Mink (1960), the odd one out in this collection, was adapted from a West End stage farce, Breath of Spring. TT leads a gang of middle-aged biddies who decide to brighten up "the dullness of the tea time of life", by staging a series of robberies on furriers, then donating the proceeds to charitable concerns. The splendid cast includes Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams.