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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Double Bunk
Directed byC. M. Pennington-Richards
Produced byGeorge H. Brown
StarringIan Carmichael
Sid James
Janette Scott
Liz Fraser
Dennis Price
CinematographyStephen Dade
Edited byJohn D. Guthridge
Music byStanley Black
Distributed byBryanston (UK)
Release date
30 March 1961 (London West End)
Running time
92 min
CountryUnited Kingdom

Double Bunk is a British black-and-white comedy film set on a houseboat. It was released in 1961 and stars Ian Carmichael and Sid James.[2]

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Facing eviction from their London flat, newlyweds Jack and Peggy are tricked into buying a rundown houseboat by its owner Alfred Harper and his put-upon wife. Mr Watson, who owns Jack and Peggy’s mooring, soon introduces them to his mooring tariffs and associated surcharges.

Jack's used-car-salesman friend Sid helps him rebuild the engine, and the newlyweds take the boat down the River Thames to Ramsgate with Sid and his girlfriend Sandra as passengers. On the way they have trouble with an official from the Thames Conservancy and a member of the river police.

After Sandra's transistor radio gets misplaced next to the compass, they end up in Calais. With no fuel or supplies they must resort to desperate actions to get themselves and the houseboat back home. Sandra puts on a striptease for Watson, who also happens to be in Calais, so Jack and Sid can "borrow" some of Watson’s fuel and food. The next morning they follow Watson back across the Channel, as their own compass is broken, and enter into a wager with Watson on who can get back to their mooring first. They win the bet when Watson's boat runs aground.


The houseboat, Jasmine Cot, was actually Joan Mary, an Admiralty 48-foot "Personnel Launch, Diesel" conversion. She was based at Newmans Shipyard, 1, Strawberry Vale, Twickenham.

Tagg's Island, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, was a filming location on 26 September 1960.[3]


The musical score was composed by Stanley Black, and the title song, sung by Sid James and Liz Fraser, was by Stanley Black, Jack Fishman and Michael Pratt (later better known as the actor Mike Pratt).


The film opened at the Leicester Square Theatre in London's West End on 30 March 1961 and went on general release in the UK on 8 May 1961.

The film went over budget by £4,500 and the producer had to write off personally £5,000.[4]


Critical reception

  • The New York Times called it an "extremely anemic little British comedy."[5]
  • The Spinning Image called it "a gently amusing feel-good comedy that chugs along nicely. ... You know you're in for a good time as soon as Double Bunk's opening credits kick in accompanied by a jaunty ditty sung by co-stars Sid James and Liz Fraser" [6]
  • Britmovie wrote, "the supporting cast is a veritable treasure trove of familiar faces, including Sid James, Naunton Wayne, Liz Fraser, Irene Handl, Miles Malleson and Noel Purcell and Dennis Price."[7]


  1. ^ Petrie, Duncan James (2017). "Bryanston Films : An Experiment in Cooperative Independent Production and Distribution" (PDF). Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: 7. ISSN 1465-3451.
  2. ^ "Double Bunk (1961) | BFI". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Tagg's Island, Liz Fraser, Sid James". Alamy. 25 September 1960. Retrieved 23 August 2023. Liz Fraser, English actress, pictured on location at Tagg's Island, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, where she is currently filming Double Bunk, Monday 26th September 1960. Our Picture Shows ... Liz Fraser and Sid James, actor who also stars in the film.
  4. ^ Petrie p 10
  5. ^ Howard Thompson (17 November 1961). "Movie Review - Double Bunk - 'Double Bunk' Shown". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Double Bunk Review (1961)". Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Double Bunk 1961 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 August 2023, at 00:28
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