School for Scoundrels

Synopsis: Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college run by "Professor" Potter and discovers the secrets of success. But has he the courage to put all his lessons into effect?
Genre: Comedy
Production: LionsGate Entertainment
94 min

lions gate entertainment

Mr. Potter?

Come in, you're late.

I'm sorry.

The, erm, the train.

Punctuality is the politeness of

princes, Mr. Potter always says.

Mr. Potter is just starting his

beginning-of-term speech.

You'll have to wait.

...with which sentiment I'm sure

you will agree.

You all know that

in the beginning,

there were Adam and Eve.

You'll remember that Adam bit

into that apple,

at which moment the first

loser was born.

Yes, the pattern was set,

and the world divided,

not into male and female.

Oh, no, no, no.

That's just a mere superficial

division of minor importance.

No, gentlemen, there is

another division,

another dichotomy,

more basic, more profound.

At that fateful moment,

the world was divided

into winners...

and losers.

Top men...

and underdogs.

In a word, the one-up...

and the one-down.

Ah, yes, yes, yes, yes,

I can see the question

in your hungry eyes.

You want to know

what is Lifemanship.

Well, gentlemen,

Lifemanship is the science of

being one up on your opponents

at all times.

It is the art of making him feel

that somewhere somehow,

he has become less than you,

less desirable, less worthy...

less blessed.

Who then, you ask,

are your opponents?

Everybody, in a word,

who is not you.

And the purpose of your life

must be to be one up on them,

because, and mark this well,

he who is not one up...

is one down.

Come in!



They sometimes call me,

Mr. Potter, but...

I beg your pardon.

I'm Mr. Henry Palfrey.

Ah! Sit down, Palfrey.

Well? Tell me all about

yourself, Palfrey.

Well, it's like this,

Mr. Potter...

have a cigarette, Palfrey.

Thank you, Potter.

You don't mind my cigar,

do you, Mr. Palfrey?

Not at all, Mr. Potter.

Thank you, Henry. Ha ha!

My round, I think.

What do you mean?

Never mind, we'll talk

about that later.

Now tell me, what first prompted

you to enrol in the college?


frankly, Mr. Potter,

I'm a failure.


You'll have some tea with me,

won't you, Palfrey?

Thank you very much.

So, you want to be a success.

Well, I think we can help you.

But first, I like to have a

clear picture of the background

of the student.

You're in love, of course.

How did you know?

Thank you, Alice.

Have a muffin, Palfrey.

Thank you.



no, with lemon.

The young lady...

is she a blonde?

Oh, I see!

Er, well, not quite.

That could be serious.

Now, let's begin at

the beginning.

How did you first meet this

not quite blonde young lady?

Well, it happened on Tuesday.

Or was it Wednesday?

Yes, Wedn... no, it wasn't,

it was Tuesday.

I was on my way to the office

in the morning as usual.


Oh! Oh!

Of all the stupid, awkward...


Clumsy idiots. Ooh!

I say, I'm most terribly sorry

sorry? Is that all you've

got to say

when you knocked me down

like a wild...





No, not really.

Oh, but I am.

Yes, I am permanently

uncivilised, I'm...


What's the matter?

My beautiful new stocking's



I'll probably sue you.

Oh, I do wish you would.

I'm fully insured, you know.

Personal, property,

accident, medical,

all that sort of thing.

Just take your pick.

No, thank you, but it's very

nice of you to offer.

Look, give me those, I'm going

to be late for work.

Under no circumstances.

You're probably shaken

or bruised or something.

The least I can do is to

carry them for you.

But then you'll be

late for work.

Work? Oh, work!

That old thing. Ha ha ha.

Well, you do work,

don't you?

Well, of course, I do,

but they can do

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Patricia Moyes

Patricia Pakenham-Walsh, also known as Patricia Moyes (19 January 1923 – 2 August 2000) was a British mystery writer. Her mystery novels feature C.I.D. Inspector Henry Tibbett. One of them, Who Saw Her Die (Many Deadly Returns in the USA) was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1971. She wrote several juveniles and short stories. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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