Percy's Progress 1974

director: Ralph Thomas  



Great Britain

Alternative Titles

  • It's Not the Size That Counts!



Like Percy in 1971, Percy's Progress triumphantly confounded those critics who rated it as 'crude' and 'witless' by becoming a hit with the cinemagoing public that knows a good ribald joke when it tickles their ribs. Ralph Thomas, director and co-producer with Betty Box of both Percies, was cheerfully unconcerned about the critical reaction to either film. Talking to William Hall of the London Evening News when Percy's Progress was on location in Cyprus, he commented: 'Sex can be funny. It should be funny. And there is nothing wrong in a below-the-belly laugh.' Betty Box agreed: 'I don't mind in the least if people accuse me of having a rude mind. I'd love to be considered a vulgar lady.' It is no discredit to the film or to its makers to describe Percy's Progress as vulgar; it is as robustly and healthily vulgar as the music hall comedians were in their heyday. The basic blue joke remains unchanged: that the transplanted private part provided by smoothie surgeon Sir Emmanuel Whitbread (Denholm Elliott) for lucky Edwin Anthony (now played by Leigh Lawson) is always more than ready to rise to every improper occasion. The new twist to the joke is that Edwin finds himself to be the only possessor of a Percy that has not been made lifeless by drinking-water polluted by a chemical known as PX123. But before he can even begin to take advantage of frantic females who are desperate for him to do just that. Edwin is taken into protective custody by Man from the Ministry Ronald Fraser who has the difficult task of keeping Percy out of action until called upon to serve the needs of the lovely winners of world-wide 'Miss Conception' contests. With their long record of making saucy comedy romps like the 'Doctor' series, Betty Box and Ralph Thomas know exactly how far they can go to be daringly bawdy without giving offence to viewers who know what to expect and would be disappointed if they didn't get it. The screenplay by Sid Cohn, with Ian La Frenais, more than fulfils those expectations; and the star cast makes the innuendoes seem all the funnier by pretending they are not there.

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Distributor Thorn EMI
Catalogue Number TVB 900766 2
Release Series
Release Date November 1982
Duration: 96m 19s
Printed Classification
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