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In the Nick (1960)

A gang of smalltime criminals is sent to an experimental prison where inmates are to be reformed, not punished. The leader of the gang plans to use this to his advantage and take control of the place through manipulation.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Dr. Newcombe
Anne Aubrey ...
The Doll
Bernie Winters ...
Jinx Shortbottom
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Spider Kelly
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Chief Officer Williams
Al Mulock ...
Dancer
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Mick
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Prison Governor
Victor Brooks ...
Screw Smith
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Ted Ross
Kynaston Reeves ...
Judge
Barry Keegan ...
Screw Jenkins
Diana Chesney ...
Barmaid
Andrea Lawrence
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Storyline

A gang of smalltime criminals is sent to an experimental prison where inmates are to be reformed, not punished. The leader of the gang plans to use this to his advantage and take control of the place through manipulation.

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independent film | See All (1) »

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19 July 1962 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

En chirona  »

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2.35 : 1
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Referenced in Ken Adam: Designing Bond (2000) See more »

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Written by Lionel Bart
Sung by Anthony Newley
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User Reviews

Justifiably forgotten British comedy/drama
16 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the Nick is a forgotten British film, and, after seeing it, one can easily understand why. The film is not really bad, yet it never rises above the mediocre.

Four youngish hooligans are sentenced to an experimental correctional facility. A gate at the end of the drive replaces bars on windows. Dorm rooms replace cells. An emphasis on rehabilitation replaces punishment. The four friends settle in for an easy one year sentence. Then, they run afoul with a rival (Ian Hendry), who handles all of the center's contraband and is considered the leader of the prisoners. In addition, a new psychologist (Andrew Newley) takes an interest in the four friends, wanting to prove, through them, that rehabilitation works.

The first response a viewer might have is to ask why these four were chosen. It is not on account of their youth, since, while most of the center's prisoners appear somewhat young looking, there are also some middle-aged faces in the crowd. Nor, were the four picked as first time offenders, since as the psychologist mentions one of them has been in prison "five of the last ten years." It appears the four were picked just because. This laissez-faire approach to sentencing does cause Get Carter fans to hold out hope that Michael Caine might show up and abuse Ian Hendry some more, but, alas, he does not.

The second response a viewer might have is to wonder what mood the film is trying for. In the Nick is clearly meant to be light entertainment. The four friends find a secret passage out of the center - a swinging bookcase, no less - and set up an egg smuggling ring. Yet, despite this outlandishness, the film is not particularly funny. Furthermore, the psychologist storyline is played relatively straight (except for a love triangle that involves a girlfriend of one of the prisoners). This leaves the viewer uncertain of how seriously he or she should take the film.

In the Nick is professionally made. The film was shot in scope, so some amount of time and effort went into its production. The film is watchable, and, yet, it does not leave one with much. There is nothing here to make this film stand out. As a result, it's forgotten soon after viewing. This fact might explain why there are no other reviews posted for In the Nick.


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