Filmed in Elham and featuring Bill Booth, son of PC William Wellington Boot. The same Kenneth More who is appearing as the legless airman, Douglas Bader, in the current British film "Reach for the Sky," is also in "Raising a Riot," which came to the Seventy-second Street Playhouse yesterday. Only in the latter British comedy, his character is in full possession of all his limbs and is called upon to use them adroitly in a variety of farcical ways.
As the father of three healthy children whom he alone has to tend while his wife (and their mother) is in Canada, he runs a long gamut of routines designed to show how little a father realizes the household problems a mother has to bear.
Perhaps "run" is not precisely the right word. A distinct characteristic of this film is its leisurely build-up of incidents and its sometimes a bit too casual pace. The first half of it seems spent entirely by Mr. More preparing food for his brood of ravenous youngsters who inhabit a remodeled windmill with him on the south-of-England downs.
Somehow the authors, Ian Dalrymple, Hugh Perceval and James Matthews, believe that there is still some comedy to be developed in a man discovering that spinach shrinks when boiled or that cooked meat shouldn't be left where it can be reached by the family dog. And it is with such comedy material that Mr. More moves through the first half of the film.
The second half gets a little more deeply into child psychology and a slight involvement with a young lady neighbor who takes a shine to the struggling dad. But it doesn't move any faster. It still holds that casual pace. And the wind-up hits no more of a climax than has occurred several times in the film.
Withal, it makes agreeable entertainment. Mr. More is a comical chap, particularly when he has a dog to cope with, as he had in the memorable "Genevieve." And his three youngsters in this minor frolic—the charming girl called Mandy, who played in "Crash of Silence," Gary Billings and Fusty Bentine—are entirely tolerable kids. Jan Miller is pretty as the milkmaid and Ronald Squire is properly grumpy as Grampy. The English downs and fishing villages are bright in color.
"Raising a Riot" is an amiable little film.