Juno Films Curation and Strategy

By the time she signed up for this cheeky bedroom farce, Diana Dors' star was rising. It was her third film for Adelphi; and Arthur Dent, the canny businessman at the centre of the family-run company, made sure to capitalise on her growing publicity value.

In March 1953, Dent wrote to Dors' husband, Dennis Hamilton, hoping to entice the media-savvy actress to a screening of The Great Game (d. Maurice Elvey, 1952), a recent Adelphi football drama, in which Dors had shone in a small supporting role. He asked: "I would like to know whether Diana could be present to meet the press boys. If she does not particularly want to see the picture it is quite okay but I would like her to have a 'schmooze' with them as I want to give out a story about Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary."

April saw four weeks of filming begin at Nettlefold Studios, Walton-on-Thames. Veteran director Maurice Elvey was called upon to disguise the farce's origins as a West End play and Nettlefold's limited studio space - no mean feat.

Smooth transatlantic lead Bonar Colleano was hired to provide international appeal. Character comedy stalwarts David Tomlinson - memorable as a girl-shy, birdwatching lawyer - and Sid James - entertaining as an American airman, though his accent sometimes stretches credibility thinner than his chewing gum - bolstered a sometimes shaky script with sturdy performances.

But the film belongs to Dors. Ideally cast as mischievous, ultra-blonde temptress Candy, she sashays towards centre stage with a seemingly effortless lightness of step, adding much-needed sparkle to well-worn material. While never appearing to take herself - or the script - the slightest bit seriously, she steals the show with careless assurance.

Dors dominated publicity for the film's November release. A scarlet and black pressbook saw Diana ("saucy, sexy and scintillating") overshadowing her co-stars in a skimpy swimsuit. Italian promotional material dispensed with the rest of the cast altogether, depicting Dors alone atop a fluffy cloud, resplendent in slinky blue evening gown (not seen in the film) and ogled by a grinning man-in-the-moon.

Like the man-in-the-moon, contemporary critics fell in love with Dors. Kine Weekly noted that the leading lady "keeps the pace appropriately hot" and "displays a neat sense of humour as well as a comely figure". Even the hard-to-please British Film Institute submitted to her charms, the Monthly Film Bulletin breathlessly enthusing that she was "exuding 100 per cent sex."


35mm, black and white
Year: 1953
Duration: 79 mins
Directed by: Maurice Elvey
Production Company: Advance Films Limited
Produced by: David Dent
Screenplay by: Talbot Rothwell
Original play: E. V. Tidmarsh
Photography: Phil Grindrod
Music by: William Trytel