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Only Two Can Play (1962)

John Lewis is bored by his librarian's job and henpecked at home. Then Liz, wife of a local counciller, sets her sights on him. But this is risky stuff in a Welsh valleys town - if he and ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Liz
...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Ieuan Jenkins (as Kenneth Griffiths)
...
Vernon
David Davies ...
Benyon
Maudie Edwards ...
Mrs. Edna Davies
...
Clergyman on the Committee
...
Frederick Piper ...
Mr. Davies
...
Hyman
Eynon Evans ...
Town Hall Clerk
...
Sheila Manahan ...
Mrs. Jenkins
...
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Storyline

John Lewis is bored by his librarian's job and henpecked at home. Then Liz, wife of a local counciller, sets her sights on him. But this is risky stuff in a Welsh valleys town - if he and Liz ever manage to consummate their affair, that is. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Peter Sellers' Newest Record-Breaking Comedy That's Rocking All England With Laughter! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Segunda Mulher  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Sellers won great acclaim for his performance in this film, but was difficult to work with throughout the filming. He repeatedly asked director Sidney Gilliat to replace Virginia Maskell, who played his wife, and, when Gilliat refused, he became convinced that the film would be a disaster, said so publicly and sold his percentage of the profits back to Launder and Gilliat. It proved a big commercial and critical hit (with Maskell winning excellent reviews), and so he lost out on a lot of money - perhaps because of this, he continued to bad-mouth the film for the rest of his life. See more »

Goofs

When John mentions going to parties just so that people can get the name of his tailor, the shot before shows Jean with her arms down. When it cuts back, she is resting her head on her right hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pretty Girl in Library: Good morning. Have you "Conditioned Reflexes"?
John Lewis: Uh...
Pretty Girl in Library: It's by Pavlov.
John Lewis: Yes... It's out at the moment but if you'd like to leave your name, I could reserve it for you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ABERDARCY WALES See more »

Connections

Referenced in High Hopes: Only Two Can Play (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
early Sellars
4 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

"Only Two Can Play" is a slice of life comedy made in 1962. Based on a novel by Kingsley Amis, it concerns an assistant librarian, John Lewis (Peter Sellars) who has a chance at a better position and a raise, contingent upon him sleeping with the council chairman's wife (Mai Zetterling). He has a beautiful if exhausted wife at home (Virginia Maskell) and children, and the confines of his home are a little tight and chaotic. Lewis attempts to make a go of the affair, with humor and poignancy as the result.

This is a very well acted film, and a very satisfying one. Sellars wasn't a huge star yet, but all the elements are there. Mai Zetterling, primarily remembered today as a director, was a marvelous actress and very sexy. In her book, "All Those Tomorrows" she describes her experiences living with Tyrone Power and being madly in love with him for several years. That was some life she had. This was the last film Virginia Maskell would make for a time - she married after this movie and did very little until 1967. Sellars tried to get her replaced in the film, but the director refused. It seems odd, because she was very good. After the birth of a child in 1967, she became acutely depressed and ultimately overdosed on antidepressants. A sad end for a fine actress. The rest of the cast is excellent as well.

A very good film, well worth seeing.


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