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Inn for Trouble (1960)

A London couple apply to run a country inn and discover that someone doesn't want them to make a success of it.


(as Pennington Richards)


(story), (screen play)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shaun O'Riordan ...
John Belcher
Arthur Lawrence ...
Basil Belcher
Charlie (Driver)
Barbara Mitchell ...
Hetty Prout
Alan Rolfe ...
Fred Robinson ...
Edward Malin ...
Old Charlie
Alan Wheatley ...
Harold Gaskin
Stanley Unwin ...


After twenty-five years working at Belcher's Brewery, Alf Larkin is given a pub to manage. But the Earl Osbourne is in trouble, mostly because the Earl himself has by tradition to give his own very quaffable beer away free once a quarter. The Larkins come up with various tricks to gain custom, not realising a proposed new road means the place could soon become a goldmine anyway. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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Release Date:

February 1960 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final featured role for Graham Moffatt. He had an uncredited bit in a 1963 film and died in 1965. See more »


The above entry is incorrect as the closing credits list the whole family as 'Larkins', albeit as Alf Larkins and are called Larkins throughout the film. See more »


Spun-off from The Larkins (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

Inn for laughs, but a few more would help.
30 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

'Inn for Trouble' is a tour de force for Britain's favourite 'battleaxe' Peggy Mount. After her memorable portrayal of the termagant mother - in - law to be, in 'Sailor Beware' (1956), film makers obviously deemed it to be safe enough, after a five year gap, to let her loose on the silver screen once more. The Larkins had been a successful radio series, an early radio comedy sit - com. Transferring it to the big screen is a daunting task, and, in spite of predictable and fragile handling, it so nearly comes off.

A film about the Larkins 'at home' was clearly not a strong enough setting, therefore Alf retires from the labelling department at Belcher's brewery. Normally he would be given a pub to run, but he is given a derisory pen, instead. In marches wife Ada (Peggy Mount), who harangues the owner, Leslie Phillips, to the extent that he lets the Larkins have the 'Earl Osborne', a pub more ailing than the ale, which the locals hate, described by a yokel, Jumbo (Graham Moffatt) as 'potato water'.

The plot is thin, and consists of Ada inducing tourists and locals into her 'local', eventually realising that the locals receive free beer each quarter from the Earl Osborne, who, up till now, has been masquerading as farm worker Bill, his spilt personality remaining unexplained. Naturally, after his true identity is revealed, Ada buys some barrels off him, and the locals descend on the pub in droves. The anti hero, Gaskin, Alan Wheatley as the Sheriff of Nottingham in a suit, heading a powerful rival brewery, tries to trick Phillips into selling the pub, the latter unaware that a motorway is about to be built in the vicinity, which will elevate the insignificant watering hole to the status of a service station goldmine. Alf's drinking club, 'The Fluids', avert this impending catastrophe by moving the paper contract around in a ritualistic game of cat and mouse.

The supporting cast is mainly misplaced or underused. The great Charles Hawtrey is sidelined as a grumpy employee; his colleague from their early days in Will Hay films, Graham Moffatt, plays the eponymous Jumbo, his last film appearance before succumbing to a heart attack at 46. Moffatt had run his own pub for many years, so his role is one of a 'busman's holiday'. Glyn Owen struggles as the Earl Osborne, and is more at home as his 'alter ego' Bill, safer among those of his own class - this was 1960, and the 'swinging sixties' had not yet replaced the class conscious fifties. Ronan O'Casey is whimsical as Ada's Canadian son - in - law, complete with dodgy Irish -American accent, and Shaun O'Riordan, a future director of TV programmes, is a mummy's boy, a forerunner of Private Pike, from Dad's Army, but is given a measure of authority, since he is a scoutmaster and drives a car much better than his dad.

The multi - talented David Kossoff is unable to display the range of his undoubted talents in his limited role of Alf (Cyril Smith was much more effective as Peggy Mount's husband in 'Sailor Beware') and, of course, in homage to Raquel Welch, there is the obligatory gorgeous French girl, Yvonne Monlaur, who, by chance, is staying at this pub in the middle of nowhere. Naturally she becomes engaged to the Earl. Well studied support comes from Frank Williams, as Gaskin's snobbish nephew, while Esma Cannon and Irene Handl are in top form as the gossipy ladies in the village shop. However, that inveterate scene stealer, A.E. Matthews, affectionately known to everyone as 'Matty', is delightful as a scattily pompous master of the hunt. At the age of 91, he was Britain's oldest working actor.

Ultimately, the film demonstrates the decadence and imminent collapse of the British film comedy in the sixties - some rather dodgy processing doesn't help, either. Despite its obvious frailties, it's still worth a watch, even if it's only to gain a glimpse of a vanished way of life. No wonder the 'carry on' films were already beginning to carry the film comedy banner, in whose genre Charles Hawtrey has passed into cinematic legend. For Peggy Mount, films were virtually over, and television comedy beckoned; Kossoff would become an outstanding religious writer and raconteur, and Frank Williams would play the vicar in 'Dad's Army'. Give it a viewing on a wet Sunday afternoon, but be careful - Steve Race's honky tonk title tune will have you foot tapping, until the call comes: 'time, ladies and gentlemen, please..'

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