5.6/10
110
7 user 1 critic

The Big Money (1956)

Petty thief Willie Frith steals a suitcase full of bank notes, only to find out that they have been given all the same serial number. But this is only the start of his troubles, now he has ... See full summary »

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Willie Frith
...
Gloria
Kathleen Harrison ...
Mrs. Frith
...
The Reverend
...
Mr. Frith
...
The Colonel
...
Bobbie
Michael Brennan ...
Bluey
...
Doreen Firth
...
Receptionist
Harold Berens ...
Bookmaker
Hugh Morton ...
Valet
...
Furrier
Digby Wolfe ...
Harry Mason
Michael Balfour ...
'Wilberforce'
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Storyline

Petty thief Willie Frith steals a suitcase full of bank notes, only to find out that they have been given all the same serial number. But this is only the start of his troubles, now he has to find a way of changing the notes, so he can impress the barmaid of his local pub. Written by mike.wilson6@btinternet.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

thief | three word title | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

March 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Loura e o Ladrão  »

Box Office

Budget:

£175,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Diana Dors was originally cast as Gloria, but stepped down because of differences with the producer. See more »

Soundtracks

Behold The Lord High Executioner
(uncredited)
from "The Mikado"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Arranged by Alfred Ralston
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A comedy which the star didn't find funny
22 February 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ian Carmichael stars as Willie Frith, hapless eldest son of a family of crooks, who finally gets lucky snaffling a suitcase of pound notes, only to find they're forged, with the same number on each. Then his problems begin.

There is no doubt that Carmichael was embarrassed about his participation in this film: in his autobiography he went as far to record that he wished that Rank had destroyed all the prints. He's certainly acutely miscast. Though he specialised in portraying educated, bumbling and unworldly young men, Willie is mainly just gormless, an image compounded by the decision to give him a 'Teddy Boy' hairstyle, which only makes him look ridiculous. Then there's the scene in the swish nightclub, where he makes an exhibition of himself with his pockets loaded with coins, and unseemly behaviour after swigging too much liquid in a doomed effort to get rid of some of the notes. This is firmly in Norman Wisdom territory, and the star no doubt found it all a bit beneath him.

The glamorous Belinda Lee is perhaps a bit too refined as the barmaid in a role apparently turned down by Diana Dors, then trying to establish herself as a serious actress, but it's doubtful that many male viewers had any complaints. She gives a good performance despite the uneven script that portrays her character as sympathetic in one scene, and then a bit of an opportunist in the next. It seems a pity that Bryan Forbes' attempts to improve the writing were dismissed out of hand. I thought Robert Helpmann was a piece of inspired and original casting as the gang leader.

The mistake with Carmichael apart, this is not quite the disaster that some originally claimed and has some amusing moments throughout. In many ways it's a typical British comedy of its time.


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