Laughter in Paradise

Synopsis: Famed practical joker Henry Russell leaves 50,000 pounds to each of his four surviving relatives. But his will has one last joke - they each have to undertake a task completely out of character within a month. As each sets out on their objective they find that quite apart from the promised riches, they are unexpectedly getting a lot out of the challenge. All except caddish Simon Russell, that is.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Mario Zampi
Production: Transocean
93 min

Here, in this mansion in a quiet London square,

a man lies dying.

And as he dies, the world remembers

the feats which made him famous.

The outrageous pranks, which time and again

shook officialdom to its very foundations.

Yes, Henry Augustus Russell

will soon be joining the great majority.

It's hard to believe that this frail ghostlike figure

was once the greatest practical joker of modern times.

The dusky eastern potentate

who so nearly purchased The Albert Hall.

The bronzed red-indian chief,

feted for swimming the Channel...

complete with feathered headdress

and tomahawk.

Goodbye Henry Russell...

your last practical joke is done.

Or is it?


For Miss Agnes Russell.

Thank you.

Oh... will you please wait here.

Come in!

Excuse me ma'am... there's a telegram.

That's no excuse coming in here

looking like a chimneysweep...

Go and put your apron on at once!

Yes ma'am.

But the boy's waiting for a reply.

Well, let him wait...

that's what he's paid for.

It's dusty.

Ethel... you see this photograph...

Yes, ma'am...

Well, don't stand there... come here!

My brother... he died this morning.

Oh, I am sorry, ma'am...

This photograph is smothered with dust!

But if I'd known the poor gentleman

had passed away...

It should not be necessary for people to die

in order to have their photograph dusted.

No, ma'am.

I'm ever so sorry about your bad news, ma'am.

You have reason to be.

For I shall now be able to afford some servants

who know their duty.

You can take a fortnight's notice from today.

Now go!

Mr Russell, it's useless arguing.

If every bank clerk in every bank in England

was half a crown short in his calculations every week...

Do you know how much that would cost?

If you like to let me have

pencil and paper sir...

I'll work it out for you

if you really want to know.

I don't want to know...

I want you to think about it!

Oh, yes sir...

It's a very disturbing thought sir.

But sometimes sir, it isn't easy.

If it was easy, Mr Russell, there'd be

no need for bank clerks.

Yes... no, sir.

Come in!

Sorry to disturb you, sir...

There's a person in the bank

asking for Mr Russell.

Let one of the other clerks

deal with him.

It's a personal visit, sir... a lady...

a Mrs Goodwin.

Oh?... Who might this lady be?

No sir, she's no lady...

she's my landlady.

The bank, Mr Russell, is no place

for music-hall repartee...

Get rid of her at once.


I'm sorry to worry you like this sir,

but she was most...

Wipe that syncopatic smile off your face!

Hello, Mrs Goodwin.

Oh, Mr Russell... I thought I'd better pop in.

Just after you left, a telegraphic communication

arrived for you.

And I thought it might be urgent.

I didn't open it, of course...

So I don't know what

there may be in it.

But I think you should be prepared

for some rather sad news.

Oh, Mr Russell... was he very dear to you?

Pray accept my heartiest condolences!

Thank you Mrs Goodwin... thank you!

Not at all, I'm sure.

Well... see you at supper.


Not bad news, I hope...?

Yes, in a way it was, yes.

A distant cousin of mine has just died.

Henry Russell... you've probably read about him.

He was always telling me that I lacked 'push'.

Yes, 'push' I think it was.

Nonsense... why don't you go and ask

Mr Wagstaffe for the afternoon off?

Everyone does on these occasions.

Oh, no... I couldn't!

Go on!... Show you've got some push.

Go on!

Yes... why not?!

Yes... I jolly well will!

Come in!




A distant cousin of mine

has just died, sir...

How distant?

A long way off, sir.

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Michael Pertwee

Michael Henry Pertwee (24 April 1916, Kensington, London – 17 April 1991, Camden, London) was an English playwright and screenwriter. Among his credits were episodes of The Saint, Danger Man, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, B-And-B, Ladies Who Do, Hong Kong and many other films and TV series. He was the brother of Jon Pertwee of Doctor Who fame, the son of Roland Pertwee, a noted screenwriter and actor of the 1910s-1950s, a distant cousin of Bill Pertwee, a noted character actor, and the uncle of actor Sean Pertwee. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Laughter in Paradise" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 12 Jun 2021. <>.

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