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Percy's Progress

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Percy's Progress
Directed byRalph Thomas
Written bySid Colin
Harry H. Corbett
Ian La Frenais
Produced byBetty E. Box
StarringLeigh Lawson
Elke Sommer
Judy Geeson
Denholm Elliott
Adrienne Posta
Julie Ege
Vincent Price
CinematographyTony Imi
Edited byRoy Watts
Music byTony Macaulay
Distributed byEMI Film Distributors
Release date
  • 1974 (1974)
CountryUnited Kingdom

Percy's Progress is a 1974 British comedy film directed by Ralph Thomas. It was written by Sid Colin, Harry H. Corbett and Ian La Frenais. It was released in the United States under the title It's Not the Size That Counts. The US version of the film includes several additional scenes shot by the American distributor, which include an opening scene of a penis transplant operation, and a scene in which a dwarf is seen jumping out of a woman's bed, leaving her to say the film's American title, "It's not the size that counts."[1] The dwarf in question was Luis De Jesus, the star of the infamous Blood Sucking Freaks.

Harry H. Corbett's character was closely modelled on British prime minister Harold Wilson, down to using well-known Wilson phrases such as "thirteen years of Tory misrule" and speaking with a distinct Yorkshire accent.

The film is a sequel to Percy, which was itself based on a novel of the same name by Raymond Hitchcock.


Percy is known in England as the man who had the world's first penis transplant, and is exceptionally well endowed. His rampant conquests of married women cause him to escape incarceration by local authorities.

A chemical is accidentally released into the world's water supply rendering all men impotent. Percy is unaware that he is the only man on earth who can achieve an erection because he was in hiding from the law at sea, drinking nothing but champagne.

When Percy goes ashore to relieve his year-long sexual tension at a brothel, he gains the attention of the British press and subsequently the British government, who then want to use him to repopulate the world. An international pageant is held to find each country's "Miss Conception" representative. At the same time, a team of doctors work to find an antidote to the effects of "P.S.- 123".


Production and reception

Betty Box said they only agreed with Nat Cohen to make a sequel to Percy if he financed The Reckless Years, a film of the Byron-Shelley story. However, Cohen reneged on the deal once Percy's Progress was made.[2]

Alexander Walker wrote in his Evening Standard column in 1974 that the film is "just about the deepest depth ever plumbed by the once considerable and now nearly contemptible British film industry in its resolute search for the lowest kind of taste among the thickest kind of people."[3]

The film's B movie was the short crime drama Poor Billy Render starring Vicki Michelle, Garfield Morgan and Tony Selby.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Betty Box, Lifting the Lid, 2000 p. 281
  3. ^ "Alexander Walker". The Times. 16 July 2003. Retrieved 3 June 2020. (subscription required)
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