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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 12. June 15, 1950

"Passport to Pimlico"

"Passport to Pimlico"

This is all those things which Extrav 1950 was not: all those things without which no Extrav will ever be popular. From start to finish, Passport to Pimlico is a rollcking, ribald ribbing of everything in recent British affairs from rationing and currency restrictions to the Berlin airlift.

Just as in Gulliver's Travels, Swift managed to make man look silly by reducing him to midget size, so the heated matters of principle with which we puff ourselves up when we want an excuse to have a fight look absurd when reduced to the scale of Passport to Pimlico.

The satire is very neat, particularly in the "newsreel"—which was worthy of the best Extrav traditions. This sort of thing doesn't come our way very often: in 10 years maybe no one will be able to see much more than the humour in it; the keen edge of its satire is pretty much localised in time. But for the moment, it's a fresh and delightful sally.

The story doesn't matter in this comment; and it would spoil it if you see the show. There are many cracks which come up to the standard of the "Their pleasures are few, but simple" from "Whisky Galore": the most obvious is the "It's because we're British that we fight for the right to be Burgundians." But from the airlift to the road blocks, from the "I have no comment to make" to the "Wix Aid Plan" which caps it, the film is worth remembering. We suppose there had to be a love interest in it; the scenes of that kind, even humourously interrupted, caused the only dull moments in this thing.

Passport to Pimlico is a healthy sign: even when the nations in the self created hours of perils are taking themselves and their "defence" with all the self righteous seriousness of a parson playing bridge, something like this can be produced to cast a little gentle derision at all the most fervent of causes.