Pompous, stuffy businessman Paul Bultitude (ROGER LIVESEY) is having a heart-to-heart with his eldest son, Dick (ANTHONY NEWLEY). Neither of them is happy with their situation - Paul wishes that he was young again, like his son, while Dick - who is due to return to boarding school - wishes that he was grown up, like his father. Unfortunately, these simultaneous wishes are made in the vicinity of the eye of an idol stolen from the Temple of the Laughing Hyena in India by the scurrillous Uncle Marmaduke and both father and son mystically, and unexpectedly, swap bodies.
With the son becoming the father (and Vice Versa...), classic Victorian humour ensues as Dick/Paul shocks the household staff and his friends by loosening up, giving lavish parties and entering into a business venture with the wayward Uncle Marmaduke, and Paul/Dick appalls school headmaster Dr. Grimstone (JAMES ROBERTSON JUSTICE) and his daughter Dulcie (PETULA CLARK) with his stuffy and conservative behaviour.
VICE VERSA, based on the acknowledged masterpiece of Victorian comic literature by F. Anstey, was both adapted and directed by the legendary Peter Ustinov in this 1948 adaptation. Starring Roger Livesey (A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP), Anthony Newley (OLIVER TWIST, THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE) with able comic support from singer Petula Clark and the legendary James Robertson Justice, this is arguably the definitive version of this body-swap comedy.
This comedy film will appeal to people who enjoy classic British comedy films (especially war ones), sit-coms and Ealing-style shenanigans.