The Virgin Soldiers

The Virgin Soldiers

John Dexter (1969)

X Certificate


Our Score
Leslie Thomas's first novel went straight to the top of the bestseller charts in 1966 and this movie version quickly tried to capitalise on its success. Thomas wrote about his national service experiences in Singapore, where manhood was discovered through "sex" and military action during the Malayan Emergency. In one sense the movie, written by John Hopkins, Ian La Frenais and John McGrath, is just Private's Progress with a touch of Carry On Sergeant, but the vivid action scenes and the probability of getting shot give it a blacker dramatic edge. Hywel Bennett is the hero, Lynn Redgrave the RSM's comely daughter and Tsai Chin plays an Oriental tart called Juicy Lucy. If you look carefully, you might spot Wayne Sleep and David Bowie swelling the ranks.


British soldiers are sent to Singapore to deal with a guerrilla uprising against the colonial government. The young men are hopelessly inexperienced both sexually and on the battlefield, while one hapless private becomes smitten with his sergeant major's daughter. Comedy drama based on Leslie Thomas' novel, starring Lynn Redgrave and Hywel Bennett.

Cast & Crew

Private Brigg Hywel Bennett
Phillipa Raskin Lynn Redgrave
Sergeant Driscoll Nigel Davenport
Regimental Sergeant Major Raskin Nigel Patrick
Mrs Raskin Rachel Kempson
Sergeant Wellbeloved Jack Shepherd
Lt Col Bromley-Pickering Michael Gwynn
Juicy Lucy Tsai Chin
Corporal Brook Christopher Timothy
Tasker Don Hawkins
Lantry Geoffrey Hughes
Director John Dexter
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia Picture Corp. LtdAvailable on: video
Drama Comedy