On-screen
Attenborough as actor
in Richard Attenborough
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Richard Attenborough's first appearance in the cinema, in the Noel Coward and David Lean co-directed production, In Which We Serve, was one that went almost unnoticed. Attenborough's acting career was significantly affected and also influenced by the Second World War. Attenborough's acting career was given a further boost when he reinstated his relationship with the John Boulting brothers in 1956. Unlike many of their contemporaries, the Boultings flourished in the 1950s, especially with their satirical comedies which poked fun at certain British institutions. In reviewing Private's Progress, which satirised the army, the Monthly Film Bulletin welcomed the 'general irreverence of the film' and considered that Attenborough, along with Terry-Thomas and Kenneth Griffith, all played 'clever character sketches'. Attenborough's original character, Private Sidney Cox, is elevated to the grander-sounding Sidney de Vere Cox, the change reflecting the higher status the character achieved in his post-war career in industry.

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