Our Miss Fred (1972)

Genre: British Saucy Comedy

Forget Quentin Tarrintono’s Inglorious Basterds (2009) and watch this re-write of the Second World War.

It’s 1939 and Fred (Danny La Rue), who’s a stage actor, receives his Army conscription notice. Luckily for him because of his acting talents, he’s recruited into the Army Concert Party. In next to no time he is dressed in drag and entertaining the British troops stationed in France.

During his performance, the Germans invade and capture all the British troops and take them away as prisoners, but believing Fred is a real woman, they allow him to leave.

Walking through the French countryside, Fred meets up with a British Girl Guides leader (Lally Bowers) and her assistant (Frances de la Tour, famous for playing Miss Ruth Jones in the British sitcom Rising Damp). The stiff-upper-lipped leader tells of her strong dislike of men because they are always raping women.

Fred joins them and they take him back to meet the five girl guides in their charge. Being a British comedy, the girl guides are more like the older girls in the Saint Trinians films – busty, pig-tails and in short skirts.

Un-be known to the Girl Guide leader, the girls are helping a downed British pilot escape from the Germans. The pilot tries to seduce Fred, but soon finds out Fred is a man and is a soldier in the British Army. They team up and together with the help of the girl guides they make their way to an airstrip and hopefully their escape back to Britain.

Along the way they have various misadventures, while Fred fights off the charms of the German soldiers:

“You’re everything in a woman and a bit more.”

Danny la Rue was a famous female impersonator and was a regular in British Christmas pantomimes and appeared occasionally on TV from the 6o’s through to the 80’s. Supposedly his first appearance in drag was actually for a naval concert.

A few times in the film he reverts back to a man, which was sometimes the trademark of his shows, but through the bulk of it he plays a woman. He is amazingly good as a female impersonator and goes through a number of costume and hair changes.

Director, Bob Kellett, directed movie versions of well-known British sitcoms, such as Up Pompeii, The Alf Garnett Saga and Are You Being Served?, as well as a few episodes of Gerry Anderson’s Space 1999.

Look out for a brief appearance of Frank Thornton, famous for playing Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served?.

This is a fun movie with plenty of sexual innuendo jokes and a rousing rendition of the popular song Hitler Has Only Got One Ball.

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