Timothy Lea and his brother-in-law Sidney decide upon opening a driving school as their latest get-rich-quick scheme. Though he sincerely wants to teach, young Timmy finds that his female students are far more interested in keeping their eyes on him than on the road.
Between the miserable kitchen sink dramas of the 60s and the depressing social realism movies of the 80s, British cinema gave us the wonderful ‘Confessions’ sex-farces—a series of silly comedies which glossed over such trifles as the 3 day week, endless power cuts, unemployment, and industrial action to bring UK cinema-goers the simpler delights of the three ‘b’s—bums, boobs and bush.
Confessions of a Driving Instructor, the third in the bawdy series, once again sees Robin Askwith as cheeky chappie Timmy Lea, an instructor at a driving school owned by brother-in-law Sidney (Anthony Booth). Despite having a particularly gormless mug, women inexplicably throw themselves at Timmy, and his new profession provides him with endless opportunities to get his leg over with a bevy of beautiful babes, including his sexy landlady (busty Liz Fraser), her equally up-for-it daughter, eager first student Miss Hargreaves (the stunning Suzy Mandel), posh crumpet Lady Snodley, and even Mary (Bisto mum, Lynda Bellingham), the awfully nice daughter of business rival Mr Truscott (Windsor Davies).
Cue lots of sexual innuendo (“shall we try the 69 together?”, says Bellingam before opening a bottle of wine), plenty of Benny Hill style speeded-up shagging, and much full frontal nudity from Timmy’s conquests (although we only get a single boob from Bellingham, whilst Fraser is content to just wear some sexy lingerie). For fans of un-PC humour, there’s also a tad of working class racism and a touch of homophobia for good measure (“you dirty queer… no wonder they call you Bender” shouts Windsor’s character at his lackey).
Although it certainly isn’t the most sophisticated film to have emerged from Elstree studios, Driving Instructor is still a very enjoyable movie—a cinematic time-capsule from the decade of wife-swapping, dolly birds, flared jeans, X-certificate movies, and Ford Cortinas, and one that even occasionally manages to be every bit as revealing about British folk as its more serious cinematic counterparts.