|The Navy Lark|
|Directed by||Gordon Parry|
|Written by||Laurie Wyman|
|Produced by||Herbert Wilcox|
|Edited by||Basil Warren|
|Music by||Tommy Reilly|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century-Fox|
The Navy Lark is a 1959 British comedy film based on The Navy Lark radio series broadcast on the BBC Light Programme.  It featured Cecil Parker, Ronald Shiner and Leslie Phillips, Gordon Jackson and Hattie Jacques. It was filmed mainly at West Bay, Bridport, Dorset. Only Phillips had appeared on the radio version – all other parts were recast.  The film was produced at Walton-on-Thames.
Captain Povey has built a reputation for shutting down redundant naval bases, and now has his eye on the minesweeping detachment on Boonsey (a fictional Channel Island, 55 mi (89 km) off Portsmouth). Arriving on inspection, he is told tales of finding many mines in the sea there and, not believing them, goes out in the minesweeper HMS Compton (played by HMS Reedham ). The crew were supposed to find "Bessy", a mine-shaped object used to collect Lifeboat funds but found a real mine instead, which Pouter bashes about in an effort to take it apart. Released, it explodes nearby and this convinces Povey that the incompetents there are not up to the job and he decides on using a competent crew to do the job.
Chief Petty Officer Banyard uses his "Pullson's Fulminator Mark III" trick (it does not exist) to delay their decommissioning and what started off as a thin folder goes around the military offices and comes back to Povey's office as a mountain of paper work. He sees through it and goes back to the island only to be told there has been an outbreak of "Yellow Fever" there. He is taken in and leaves but decides to return and the trick is revealed as life is back to normal there. Now more than ever he is determined to shut them all down.
Gaston Higgins, a Frenchman, owns the local bar and when he gets drunk he talks of revolution and kicking the British off the island. They decide to use him and say they are under siege from revolutionaries. Povey knows this is another trick and officially gives them three days to leave the island, but his bosses and the government believe the story when they get reports from a reporter, Lieutenant Binns, who was sent there to take photographs. Questions are asked by the British and French governments and Povey's career is on the line as he is told to sort this out as the British do not run from the French.
Povey goes to the island and a fake attack on Gaston and his men is launched but Povey finds out it was all a hoax. Ready to hand out court martials all round, Povey is confronted with a picture Binns took of him leading an all-out attack on what is now known to be a hoax, which will be front-page news across the world tomorrow. Stanton talks him into seeing sense and Povey, with his career in tatters if it gets out, tears up his report. He leaves and life goes back to normal on the island. On the way back to Portsmouth, their boat hits another real sea mine and Povey, Binns and the others are left to swim back to base.
According to Jon Pertwee's co-written memoir, published shortly after his death in 1996, the film was also supposed to star Pertwee and Dennis Price, both of whom were key members of the cast in the original radio series. However, according to Pertwee this did not happen as the film's producer Herbert Wilcox refused to employ Price "because he was gay." Pertwee stated that he was among those who objected to Price not being in the film and believed that this contributed to his own replacement in the cast by Shiner. Pertwee noted that the film "bombed" and believed that this was due to the fact that audiences did not consider the film to be The Navy Lark due to the absence of himself, Price and fellow radio series cast member Stephen Murray.  A nod to the radio series appears during the fake revolution in the news headlines of The Daily Telegraph referring to "Admiral Troutbridge". The plot has similarities to the episode "The Multiple Mine" (Series 1, Episode 9).
Admiral Arthur Phillip was a British Royal Navy officer who served as the first governor of the Colony of New South Wales.
John Devon Roland "Jon" Pertwee was an English actor, comedian, entertainer, cabaret performer and TV presenter. Born into a theatrical family, he served in the Royal Navy and the Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War. In his early career he worked as a stage comedian, which included performing at the Glasgow Empire Theatre and sharing a bill with Max Wall and Jimmy James.
Leslie Samuel Phillips was an English actor, director, producer and author. He achieved prominence in the 1950s, playing smooth, upper-class comic roles utilising his "Ding dong" and "Hello" catchphrases. He appeared in the Carry On and Doctor in the House film series as well as the long-running BBC radio comedy series The Navy Lark. In his later career, Phillips took on dramatic parts including a BAFTA-nominated role alongside Peter O'Toole in Venus (2006). He provided the voice of the Sorting Hat in several of the Harry Potter films.
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John "Jack" Aubrey, is a fictional character in the Aubrey–Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian. The series portrays his rise from lieutenant to rear admiral in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The twenty -book series encompasses Aubrey's adventures and various commands along his course to flying a rear admiral's flag.
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The Navy Lark is a radio sitcom about life aboard a British Royal Navy frigate named HMS Troutbridge based in HMNB Portsmouth. In series 1 and 2, the ship and crew were stationed offshore at an unnamed location known simply as "The Island". In series 2 this island was revealed to be owned by Lt. Cdr. Stanton.
Frank Thornton Ball, professionally known as Frank Thornton, was an English actor. He was best known for playing Captain Peacock in the TV sitcom Are You Being Served? and its sequel Grace & Favour and as Herbert "Truly" Truelove in TV sitcom Last of the Summer Wine.
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The Embassy Lark is a radio comedy series broadcast from 1966 to 1968 as a spin-off from The Navy Lark. It was written by Lawrie Wyman and starred Frank Thornton and Derek Francis. It was produced by Sir Alistair Scott-Johnston. Three series, of 13, 14 and 15 episodes, were made.
Admiral Sir Tom Spencer Vaughan Phillips, was a Royal Navy officer who served during the First and Second World Wars. He was nicknamed "Tom Thumb", due to his short stature. He is best known for his command of Force Z during the Japanese invasion of Malaya, where he went down with his flagship, the battleship HMS Prince of Wales. Phillips was one of the highest ranking Allied officers killed in battle during the Second World War.
Henry Lidgbird Ball was a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy of the British Empire. While Ball was best known as the commander of the First Fleet's HMS Supply, he was also notable for the exploration and the establishment of colonies around what is now Australia and New Zealand. Specifically, Ball explored the area around Port Jackson and Broken Bay, helped establish the Norfolk Island penal settlement, and discovered and named Lord Howe Island.
"Good Ship Venus", also known as "Friggin' in the Riggin", is a bawdy drinking song devised to shock with ever increasingly lewd and debauched sexual descriptions of the eponymous ship's loose-moralled crew. The tune usually used is "Go In and Out the Window".
HMS Greenwich was a 54-gun fourth-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Christopher Pett at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1666.
Ronald Alfred Shiner was a British stand-up comedian and comedy actor whose career encompassed film, West End theatre and music hall.
Watch Your Stern is a 1960 British comedy film directed by Gerald Thomas and starring Kenneth Connor, Eric Barker and Leslie Phillips. The film was based on the play Something About a Sailor by Earle Couttie. The Royal Navy provided cooperation, allowing the producers to film in Chatham Dockyard, and aboard HMS Jaguar and HMS Chaplet.
James Richard Dacres was an officer of the Royal Navy who saw service during the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He eventually rose to the rank of Vice-Admiral.
Patricia Elvira Hake, known as Elvi Hale, is a retired British actress. She played Anne of Cleves in The Six Wives of Henry VIII, broadcast in 1970.
HMS Paradise is a British comedy television series which originally aired on ITV between 1964 and 1965. It is set at a Royal Navy station on an island off the Dorset coast where very little actual work takes place. The show bore strong similarities to The Navy Lark, a popular radio series. All episodes are now considered to be lost.