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Convict 99 (1938)

 |  Comedy  |  June 1938 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 265 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

A disgraced school master, Benjamin Twist, is mistaken for a tough prison governor and assigned the charge of a prison for particularly hardened criminals. Believing he is being sent to a ... See full summary »



(story), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Will Hay ...
Moore Marriott ...
Graham Moffatt ...
Peter Gawthorne ...
Basil Radford ...
Deputy Governor
Dennis Wyndham ...
Head Warder (as Denis Wyndham)
Wilfred Walter ...
Max Slessor (as Wilfrid Walter)
Alf Goddard ...
Garry Marsh ...
Basil McGrail ...
Graham Soutten ...
Raymond (as Ben Soutten)
Teddy Brown ...
Slim Charlie
Kathleen Harrison ...
Roy Emerton ...


A disgraced school master, Benjamin Twist, is mistaken for a tough prison governor and assigned the charge of a prison for particularly hardened criminals. Believing he is being sent to a school rather than a prison, he celebrates accordingly only to find that his drunkenness accidently lands him on the wrong side of the prison bars. The Governorship is eventually restored to him, and he sets about popularising himself amongst the convicts by turning a blind eye to their shady dealings. Written by D.Giddings <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | See All (1) »




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Release Date:

June 1938 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jerry's comment, "Do you want the cat?", refers to the 'cat-o'-nine-tails', the whip used in floggings. See more »


When Twist is talking to Johnson at Johnson's desk, Johnson is not wearing his committee badge. But in the next scene when they are walking outside the cells, Johnson now has a badge on. See more »


Remade as Two Way Stretch (1960) See more »


Widecombe Fair
Traditional, collected by Sabine Baring-Gould
Sung by Will Hay as he leaves the Devonshire Lad Inn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Someone's made a dreadful bloomer.
17 October 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Convict 99 is directed by Marcel Varnel and collectively written by Jack Davis Jr, Marriott Edgar, Val Guest, Ralph Smart and Cyril Campion. It stars Will Hay, Moore Marriott, Graham Moffatt, Googie Withers, Peter Gawthorne, Basil Radford and Dennis Wyndham.

Dismissed from his position as headmaster at St. Michael's School, Dr. Benjamin Twist (Hay) applies for a job at another school. Inadvertently going into the wrong interview room, Twist finds himself offered the job because the interviewers think he is a John Benjamin, a tough Australian who has applied for the Warder's job at Blakedown Prison in Devon! Twist in charge of a prison? One that houses some of the toughest criminals in Britain! Oh no...

After the monster success of Oh, Mr. Porter! a few months previously, it was always going to be hard for Will Hay's next film to compete. And so it proved. While Convict 99 falls some way below the standard set by "Porter", some of the harsh reviews back on the film's release were misjudged. The prison setting seemed to bother many; more so the picture of prison life painted, with a few critics bizarrely thinking it was a satire on prison reform!

Convict 99 is a standard Will Hay/Gainsborough Pictures romp, it milks the mistaken identity theme for all its worth and slots in a few very funny set-pieces along the way. Re: Twist breaking rocks and losing his sledgehammer, the betting shenanigans and the break out of prison and break into the bank. The famed trio of Hay, Marriott and Moffatt don't get much time to interact together, which is disappointing, in fact Moffatt is under used, but Marriott's Jerry the Mole is a wonderful character and the wise old Marriott perks things up when the film begins to sag. Good character actors Gawthorne, Radford and Wyndham ensure the material doesn't fall flat, while Withers holds her end up well in a male dominated screenplay. 7/10

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