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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>
Liz Fraser (Ethel) was still learning to drive at the time the film was made. In the scene where Ethel follows the army convoy in an Aston Martin, she kept stalling as she set off on cue, so ropes were attached to the front of the car, out of shot, and it was towed. See more »
(at around 61 minutes) The driver reversing the Black Maria is not white-haired Soapy Stevens but a black-haired double. See more »
[Fred's wife has brought in a young baby when she visits Fred in prison]
How old is he now, my love?
Eight months, dearest.
[Fred looks suspicious and counts on his fingers]
But I've been in here nearly two years.
[Fred's wife smiles sweetly]
Oh yes, Fred. But you sent me some *lovely* letters.
See more »
A trio of prisoners, aided by outsiders, plan and execute an elaborate escape plan from under the nose of militant prison guard (Jeffries) and the gardening fanatic warden (Denham). Sellers is superb as the mischievous Dodger, with David Lodge and bumbling Bernard Cribbins his cohorts on the inside. Criminal mastermind Soapy Stevens (Hyde-White) who engineered Sellers' incarceration is top of the wanted list, and Sellers is determined to get him his comeuppance. Also hilarious is Irene Handl and Liz Fraser as the 'girls', using their collective skills (brains and beauty, respectively) to aid and abet Sellers' escape plan.
Jeffries is the real sleeper here; his comical, gestapo like prison captain, continually tortured by Sellers' antics, earns him the ire of the usually passive warden Maurice Denham (Denham more concerned with the quality and size of his garden produce than Jeffries' constant bleating about Sellers). The bane of his existence, Jeffries promises to catch Sellers out, but of course, he only ends up with egg on his face, again and again. Poor Lionel.
Liz Fraser is a voluptuous beauty, and her thick cockney accent and dumb-blonde demeanour make her the ideal vice. Her knack for these type of parts earned her recurring roles in several "Carry On" films later in the sixties, a series that excelled at 'accentuating' her talents, you might say. The mercurial Bernard Cribbins, a relative newcomer in this picture, also had the good fortune to team up in a couple of "Carry On" films, as well as several other Sellers' vehicles.
Not just a Sellers picture, all the cast succeed with their timing and delivery, but it's Lionel Jeffries who showed here his diverse ability to express humour, in addition to the straight roles he played throughout his long and distinguished career. Slapstick and farce, simple to enjoy, highly recommended.
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