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Raising the Wind (1961 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Raising the Wind
Raising the Wind FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byGerald Thomas
Produced byPeter Rogers
Written byBruce Montgomery
StarringJames Robertson Justice
Leslie Phillips
Kenneth Williams
Music byEdmund Crispin
CinematographyAlan Hume
Distributed byAnglo-Amalgamated
Release date
1961 (1961)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Raising the Wind is a 1961 British comedy film written by Bruce Montgomery and directed by Gerald Thomas. It starred James Robertson Justice, Leslie Phillips, Kenneth Williams, Liz Fraser, Eric Barker and Sid James. It is set in an elite music school.

Raising the Wind uses a cast of actors drawn from the Carry On and Doctor films that were popular at the time, although it is not an official member of either series.

The title is typical British comedy double entendre of the period: normally connected to the act of belching, but here meant to innocently refer to the woodwind section of an orchestra.


Mervyn, Malcolm, Alex, Miranda and Jill are music students at the (fictional) London Academy of Music and the Arts. They decide to share a flat to pool their meagre grants and to find a place to practise. They suffer the put-downs of the acerbic Sir Benjamin Boyd, who conducts the student orchestra, and the antics of the other talented but eccentric teachers at the school.

To raise some much-needed funds, the group offer to play a string quintet recital, but it's a disaster, with instrument strings breaking all the time. More successfully, they play in several performances of Handel's Messiah.

Mervyn, a talented composer, writes a catchy tune and whilst drunk sells it for fifty pounds to Sid and Harry, advertising copywriters. Sober the next day, he realises that he has violated the terms of his grant; the two offer to sell it back to him for five hundred pounds, money he can't possibly raise. He then learns that the tune is an existing one, the Alexandra Waltz, which he probably remembered from his youth, so the true composer could theoretically sue the purchasers.

Some of the students go up for a prestigious scholarship, the test for which includes conducting a professional orchestra Sinfonia of London. Mervyn makes a reasonable effort with music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, but the supercilious know-it-all Harold annoys the musicians with constant criticism and they have their own back on him, with an over-fast rendition of Rossini's William Tell Overture.

To everyone's surprise, the scholarship is awarded to Miranda, but she confesses that she only wants to marry fellow student Mervyn, who likewise is in love with her. However, Malcolm is given a full time position in Sir Benjamin's orchestra and proposes to Jill. Alex leaves school in order to study violin in Amsterdam.


  • The exterior of the music school is filmed at University College, London, which also doubled for St Swithin's hospital in several of the 'Doctor' films.


External links

This page was last edited on 3 May 2021, at 11:15
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