By EW Staff
Updated August 27, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Stiff Upper Lips

type
  • Movie
genre

The fancy corsets and even fancier table manners of British period dramas — ”Chariots of Fire,” ”Upstairs Downstairs,” the whole bleedin’ Merchant Ivory repertoire — provide for welcome, if heavy-handed, ”Naked Gun”-style parody in the giddy trifle Stiff Upper Lips, a sort of after-school project for actors who get paid to wear Edwardian costumes in serious endeavors.

Alas, Leslie Nielsen doesn’t play Hudson, the quintessential butler, but the redoubtable Frank Finlay does; he pours tea for a quintessential maiden aunt (Prunella Scales) and her quintessentially sexually hungry niece (Georgina Cates). There are also a twitty, ”Brideshead”-y nephew, an earthy D.H. Lawrencian gardener, a raj-mad tea-plantation owner (Peter Ustinov), and copious jokes needling the blasted class system that continues to earn Ismail Merchant and James Ivory a bundle.

Stiff Upper Lips

type
  • Movie
genre
mpaa
  • UNRATED
runtime
  • 87 minutes
director
  • Gary Sinyor

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