When young David Balfour arrives at his uncle's bleak Scottish house to claim his inheritance his relative first tries to murder him then has him shipped off to be sold as a slave in the ... See full summary »
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Vittorio De Sica
Nigel Patrick does double-duty as star and director of this low-key but hilarious spoof of such genteel British thrillers as AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. John Paxton's script finds rich American uncle Charles Coburn paying a visit to the English ancestral home where, unbeknownst to him, his aristocratic nephew (Patrick) and the rest of the requisite wacky family members are suffering a severe money deficiency. No sooner has kindly old Uncle unpacked than Patrick, his wife Wendy Hiller, and nearly all of the rest of the cash-crazed clan are plotting the unsuspecting Yank's untimely demise in hope of inheriting his fortune. Much to their dismay -- and the viewer's merriment -- all their efforts to provide Coburn with an "accidental death" backfire big-time (heh heh)... Katie Johnson of THE LADYKILLERS fame nearly steals the show as a sweetly dotty yet vaguely spooky cousin who takes a shine to Coburn. I was surprised, though, by the youthful Anthony Newley as the crackpot criminologist suitor of Patrick's and Hiller's daughter. Not only is Newley far less grating than he became in later films, he's downright funny! Also, keep your eyes peeled (or should I say "pealed" :-) for a very young Michael Caine as a gangly bell-ringer. In a running sight gag to which mere words can't do justice, Caine teams up with a much shorter fellow to ring the church bells for each new funeral; I'd even go so far as to say it's one of the highlights of the movie. This...RICH UNCLE is well worth putting out the "Welcome" mat for!
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