|Index||6 reviews in total|
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!
Is there any way to get a copy of this film? I saw it several times when it was released in the 50s and have never seen it again....I have tried to check on its DVD availability to no avail and have never seen it listed on TV.....It is absolutely hilarious and the cast contains actors who were famous veterans and some (Anthony Newley and Michael Caine) appearing in small but marvelous roles. I don't understand why it hasn't had a big following, enough to be able to see it and obtain a copy. Nigel Patrick is at his top form as the patriarch of the family down on its financial luck. One scene has himself and Wendy Hiller dressing as always for dinner which she has had to cook. It's a funny movie in itself, but as a satire of the British stiff upper lip, among other things, it deserves re-seeing many times.
I first saw this film when it was released at the Odeon Temple Fortune and have remembered it ever since.I have just obtained a copy and i have to say that it wears very well.This was the last film of Katie Johnson and i think that this was trying to build on her great success in The Ladykillers as the film is also a black comedy.It doesn't have the edge of The Ladykillers but it is still very good fun.A great cast featuring a very young Michael Caine who doesn't speak a word.The film was co directed by one of my favourites Nigel Patrick with assistance from Max Varnel,son of Marcel.There is one unusual feature towards the end when a ghostly Nigel Patrick introduces the whole cast once again.He refers to Caine as Mike Caine.
It has been decades since this film, to my knowledge, has been broadcast on British Television. Probably so to stop giving ideas to conniving families, but from what I can remember, it is one of the funniest "black comedies" I have ever seen. If I remember correctly there was a long winded scene involving a poisoned tea-bag which poisoned the wrong person, also when the elderly batty cousin digs out some old cheque books with large amounts paid out in the past, suggesting that as they paid out well before, then surely the cheque book would still be usable. I would relish seeing it again and would sincerely hope it would actually be as funny and enjoyable as I last remember it. See it if you can.
Wondrous British comedy about Henry, a destitute aristocrat (Nigel
Patrick) and his family living in a rotting castle. Along comes a
wealthy uncle from America (Charles Coburn), making a visit to his
family home. So Henry decides to do away with the old boy, but being a
black comedy, none of his plans go as planned.
In a similar vein to the classic film THE LADYKILLERS, this one is a riot as the plot goes on its murderous-but-merry way and boasts an excellent cast.
Coburn is a delight as the unsuspecting uncle with a fondness for martinis, and Patrick (who also directed) is the perfect hapless plotter. Also in the cast are Wendy Hiller as the dutiful wife, Athene Seyler as the grandmother, Katie Johnson as the vaguely related Alice, Kenneth Fortescue as the son, Patricia Webster as the daughter, Anthony Newley as her criminologist boyfriend, Noel Hood as Aunt Marjorie, Ian Wilson as Harold the postmaster, Trevor Reid as the Inspector, Cyril Luckham as the coroner, and Michael Caine in one of his first film roles.
A total delight and full of surprises. This one marks Katie Johnson's only film followup to THE LADYKILLERS and proved to be her final film.
It has been years since I saw this film, but it has left some vivid memories.
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