You Must Be Joking! (1965 film)

You Must Be Joking! is a 1965 British comedy film directed by Michael Winner and starring Michael Callan, Lionel Jeffries, and Denholm Elliott.

You Must Be Joking!
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Winner
Produced byCharles H. Schneer
Screenplay byAlan Hackney
Jan Read
from a story by Michael Winner
StarringMichael Callan
Lionel Jeffries
Denholm Elliott
Music byLaurie Johnson
CinematographyGeoffrey Unsworth
Edited byBernard Gribble
Distributed byColumbia Pictures Corporation (UK)
Release date
3 August 1965 (London)
Running time
100 minutes


Four British soldiers - Sergeant Major McGregor (complete with kilt and bearskin), Captain Tabasco, father of nine Sergeant Clegg, Sergeant Mansfield - and United States Air Force Lieutenant Morton have their initiative tested in a scavenger hunt, set for them by a British Army psychologist, Major Foskett (Terry-Thomas). They are instructed to obtain six symbols of the British way of life. The reward for the winner is to be fast-tracked for promotion and a ten-day, all-expenses-paid trip around the world for two. Among the feats to be accomplished within 48 hours are escaping from a maze, retrieving a rare rose and the mascot from a Rolls-Royce motorcar, and procurement of a lock of hair and an autograph from a popular French female singer. The final challenge involves the famous Lutine bell from the Underwriting Room of Lloyd's of London.[1][2] Because of complaints in the past, if any of them get into trouble, the authorities will deny everything. They are ordered to wear civilian clothes and leave behind all their money.


Critical reception

  • TV Guide called the film, " Lunacy and laughs galore, with director Winner's gimmicky style much in evidence."[2]
  • Hal Erickson wrote in The New York Times, " Director Michael Winner was still in his "mad mod" period when he lensed the wacky goings-on of You Must be Joking? His Death Wish pictures of the 1970s were in 1965 as remote as another galaxy."[3]


  1. "You Must Be Joking! | BFI | BFI". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  2. "You Must Be Joking! Review". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. "You-Must-Be-Joking- - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". Retrieved 8 March 2014.

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