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Dodger Lane (Peter Sellers) has planned the perfect robbery while in prison. He intends to break out of prison, steal a fortune in diamonds, and break back into prison before anyone notices. With only a few days' sentence left, and the perfect alibi, what could possibly go wrong? Written by
Colin Tinto <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(at around 61 minutes) The driver reversing the Black Maria is not white-haired Soapy Stevens but a black-haired double. See more »
[Dodger is reading the financial pages of the newspaper in his prison cell]
Cor, the bottom's dropped right out of Colonial Cocoa. When you knock off any money, lads, never put it on the Stock Exchange - I'll tell you that for nothing.
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This effort may not have been all that taxing on the considerable talents of the great Peter Sellers, but the character of Dodger Lane is an original, and the star gives a sly, confident performance as an unreformed "model prisoner" and untrustworthy trustee.
TWO-WAY STRETCH involves a trio of prison cell-mates who help to devise a crime with a twist. All they have to do is sneak out on the night before they're due to be released, pull off their latest heist, and then return before being missed, thereby providing themselves with a foolproof alibi in addition to their ill-gotten gains.
Huntleigh Prison is a very liberal institution, and Dodger (Sellers) takes full advantage of this, making his cell a home away from home. With the assistance of his two partners, Lennie Price (Bernard Cribbins) and Jelly Knight (David Lodge), he's practically running the place, and the three of them make a great comic team.
They don't plan on having any trouble sneaking out of Huntleigh, but that was before the appointment of the new head guard, Sidney "Sour" Crout (played by Lionel Jeffries), a tough disciplinarian, who barks rather than speaks. Why, he even expects the inmates to actually do some work in the rock quarry . . .before the arrival of their morning newspaper. Although Crout's presence disrupts their escape plans, the intrepid Dodger refuses to give up.
Also on hand is old reliable Wilfrid Hyde-White as Soapy Stevens, a crony who enlists Dodger for the heist; Maurice Denham as the hopelessly well-meaning warden; Irene Handl as crooked Ma Price; and the indispensable Liz Fraser as Ethel, Dodger's shapely girlfriend.
Everything clicks and there is never a dull moment in this hilarious comedy. There's nothing profound or insightful about it but that's one of the reasons why it's good. My rating of TWO-WAY STRETCH is a definite four stars out of five.
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