In bathroom ceramics factory W.C. Boggs & Son, the traditionalist owner W.C. Boggs is having no end of trouble. Bolshie and lazy union representative Vic Spanner continually stirs up trouble in the works, to the irritation of his co-workers and management. He calls a strike for almost any minor incident – or because he wants time off to attend a local football match. Sid Plummer is the site foreman bridging the gap between workers and management, shrewdly keeping the place going amid the unrest.
Prissy product designer Charles Coote has included a bidet in his latest range of designs, but W.C. objects to the manufacture of such "dubious" items. W.C. will not change his stance even after his son, Lewis (Lew) Boggs, secures a large overseas order for the bidets. It is a deal that could save the struggling firm, which W.C. has to admit is in debt to the banks.
Vic's dim stooge Bernie Hulke provides bumbling assistance in both his union machinations and his attempts to woo Sid's daughter, factory canteen worker Myrtle. She is torn between Vic and Lew Boggs, who is something of a playboy but insists he loves her.
Sid's wife is Beattie, a lazy housewife who does little but fuss over her pet budgie, Joey, which refuses to talk despite her concerted efforts. Their neighbour is Sid's brassy and lascivious co-worker Chloe Moore. Chloe contends with the endless strikes and with her crude, travelling salesman husband Fred), who neglects her and leaves her dissatisfied. Chloe and Sid enjoy a flirtatious relationship and are sorely tempted to stray.[N 1]
Sid and Beattie find that Joey can correctly predict winners of horseraces – he tweets when the horse's name is read out. Sid bets on Joey's tips and makes several large wins – including a vital £1,000 loaned to W.C. when the banks refuse a bridging loan – before Sid is barred by his bookie after making several payouts.
The strikers finally return to work, but it is only to attend the annual works outing, a coach trip to Brighton. A good time is had by all with barriers coming down between workers and management, thanks largely to that great social lubricant, alcohol. W.C. becomes intoxicated and spends the day – and it seems the night – with his faithful, adoring secretary, Miss Hortense Withering. Lew Boggs manages to win Myrtle from Vic Spanner, giving his rival a beating, and the couple elope. After arriving home late after the outing and with Fred away, Chloe invites Sid in for a cup of tea. They fight their desires and ultimately decide not to have the tea fearing that neighbours might see Sid enter Chloe's home and get the wrong idea.
At the picket lines the next day, Vic gets his comeuppance – partly at the hands of his mother (literally, as she spanks him in public) – and the workers and management all pull together to produce the big order to save the firm.
- Sid James as Sid Plummer
- Kenneth Williams as William C. Boggs
- Charles Hawtrey as Charles Coote
- Hattie Jacques as Beattie Plummer
- Joan Sims as Chloe Moore
- Bernard Bresslaw as Bernie Hulke
- Kenneth Cope as Vic Spanner
- Jacki Piper as Myrtle Plummer
- Richard O'Callaghan as Lewis Boggs
- Patsy Rowlands as Hortense Withering
- Davy Kaye as Benny
- Bill Maynard as Fred Moore
- Renée Houston as Agatha Spanner
- Marianne Stone as Maud
- Margaret Nolan as Popsy
- Geoffrey Hughes as Willie
- Hugh Futcher as Ernie
- Simon Cain as Barman
- Amelia Bayntun as Mrs Spragg
- Leon Greene as Chef
- Harry Towb as Film doctor
- Shirley Stelfox as Bunny waitress
- Peter Burton as Hotel manager
- Julian Holloway as Roger
- Anouska Hempel as New canteen girl
- Jan Rossini as Hoopla girl
- Philip Stone as Mr Bulstrode (uncredited)
Screenplay – Talbot Rothwell Music – Eric Rogers Production Manager – Jack Swinburne Art Director – Lionel Couch Editor – Alfred Roome Director of Photography – Ernest Steward Camera Operator – James Bawden Make-up – Geoffrey Rodway Continuity – Rita Davidson Assistant Director – David Bracknell Sound Recordists – Danny Daniel & Ken Barker Hairdresser – Stella Rivers Costume Designer – Courtenay Elliott Set Dresser – Peter Howitt Assistant Art Director – William Alexander Dubbing Editor – Brian Holland Titles – GSE Ltd Processor – Rank Film Laboratories Toilets – Royal Doulton Sanitary Potteries Assistant Editor – Jack Gardner Producer – Peter Rogers Director – Gerald Thomas
- ↑ Unusually for Sid James, his character is a faithful husband, albeit a cheeky and sorely tempted one.