IMDb > The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963)
The Wrong Arm of the Law
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The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Ray Galton (written by) &
Alan Simpson (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wrong Arm of the Law on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 May 1963 (Ireland) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
The crooks in London know how it works. No one carries guns and no one resists the police. Then a new gang appears that go one better... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(10 articles)
Graham Stark obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 31 October 2013, 5:07 PM, PDT)

Graham Stark obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 31 October 2013, 5:07 PM, PDT)

Christopher Neame obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 20 July 2011, 4:05 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Winning Sellers Caper Comedy See more (20 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Sellers ... Pearly Gates

Lionel Jeffries ... Inspector Fred 'Nosey' Parker

Bernard Cribbins ... Nervous O'Toole
Davy Kaye ... Trainer King
Nanette Newman ... Valerie
Bill Kerr ... Jack Coombes
Ed Devereaux ... Bluey May
Reg Lye ... Reg Denton

John Le Mesurier ... Assistant Commissioner
Graham Stark ... Sid Cooper
Martin Boddey ... Superintendent J.S. Forest
Irene Browne ... Dowager
Arthur Mullard ... Brassknuckles
Dermot Kelly ... Misery Martin
Vanda Godsell ... Annette
Tutte Lemkow ... Siggy Schmoltz
Barry Keegan ... Alf
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michael Caine ... Police Station PC (uncredited)
Dick Emery ... Man in Flat 307 (uncredited)
Mario Fabrizi ... Van Driver (uncredited)
John Harvey ... Police Station Sergeant (uncredited)
John Junkin ... Maurice (uncredited)

Dennis Price ... Educated Ernest (uncredited)
Cardew Robinson ... Mailman (uncredited)
Harold Siddons ... PC in Basement Garage (uncredited)
Jack Silk ... Police Station PC (uncredited)
Gerald Sim ... Airfield Official (uncredited)
Marianne Stone ... Woman in Front Row at Meeting (uncredited)
Davina Taylor ... Bit part (uncredited)

Directed by
Cliff Owen 
 
Writing credits
Ray Galton (written by) &
Alan Simpson (written by) &
John Antrobus (written by)

John Warren  writer &
Len Heath  screenplay

Ivor Jay (story) &
William Whistance Smith (story)

Produced by
Aubrey Baring .... producer
Cecil F. Ford .... associate producer
Robert Velaise .... executive producer
E.M. Smedley-Aston .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Richard Rodney Bennett 
 
Cinematography by
Ernest Steward (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Tristam Cones 
 
Casting by
Dorothy Holloway (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Harry White 
 
Makeup Department
Eileen Bates .... hair stylist
Stuart Freeborn .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roy Baird .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Nigel Curzon .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Peter Melrose .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Bill Howell .... sound recordist
Allan Morrison .... sound editor
Tony Cripps .... boom operator (uncredited)
Wally Nelson .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Charles Staffell .... back projection (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Godfrey A. Godar .... camera operator (as Godfrey Godar)
Ray Hearne .... still photographer (uncredited)
Christopher Neame .... camera assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
James Smith .... wardrobe (as Jimmy Smith)
 
Editorial Department
Graham Harris .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
John Hollingsworth .... conductor
 
Other crew
Robert Ellis .... title designer
Angela Martelli .... continuity
Maureen Gregson .... publicist (uncredited)
Golda Offenheim .... production secretary (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
94 min
Country:
Language:
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the police station on "no crime" night, one of the coppers can be seen reading a comic book based on the US TV show "Car 54, Where Are You?" (1961). Joe E. Ross and Fred Gwynne can be seen on the cover.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: When Inspector Parker and the other police officers arrive at Battersea Fun Fair to meet Pearly Gates, their taxis park in front of a generator lorry that was being used for lighting the scenes, and was not associated with the fun fair.See more »
Quotes:
[Pearly Gates has arrange to meet Inspector "Nosy" Parker on a roundabout at a funfair]
Inspector Parker:[complaining] I suppose this is your idea of a joke. Battersea Funfair. Fancy having a meeting on a thing like this.
Pearly Gates:I must admit, the idea of a load of bogeys going round in circles did appeal to me, yeah.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Oh Charley, Take It AwaySee more »

FAQ

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Winning Sellers Caper Comedy, 25 August 2010
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

Peter Sellers comedies from before 1964 often come off to me as dingy, dated, and a bit twee. So "The Wrong Arm Of The Law" surprised me. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as easily as I did.

The movie's title comes from a predicament mob boss Pearly Gates (Sellers) calls the "oldest bleeding con in the business": Dress up like coppers, catch other criminals in the act, steal their loot, and get away. After being stung eight times, Gates' own gang call on the real law for help.

It's easy to confuse this with "Two-Way Stretch", another caper comedy Sellers made three years before, with both Bernard Cribbins and Lionel Jeffries in key support roles. "Two-Way Stretch" is amusing but stale; this holds up both as a story and large-scale character piece.

By day, Gates sells high-end women's clothing with the help of a fake French accent, using his knowledge of the well-to-do to mastermind burglaries. Cribbins is a rival crime boss so non-threatening he shows off his family photos; Jeffries is inept police inspector "Nosey Parker", who suspects a buy-off attempt when Gates first appears in his office.

"I'm not trying to bribe you, mate," Gates replies. "I don't carry loose change."

Also on hand to bring considerably sex appeal is cat-eyed, slinky Nanette Newman, Pearly's girl. Watching her make out with Sellers' stomach in one scene is pretty erotic stuff; she is also cleverly integrated into the rest of the story.

Director Cliff Owen did mostly British TV work. He shows himself here an accomplished cinematic stylist. An opening credit sequence recalls "Catch Me If You Can". The ending is remarkably satisfying; all the story elements come together with surprising grace. You wish Sellers' later, bigger-budget comedies were as well crafted.

One caveat: There are no big laughs in "Wrong Arm", just many small ones and amusing asides that keep coming. There's a gentleness reminiscent of an Ealing comedy. When the different gangs discover they're all being had by the same outside interest, they call a meeting where parliamentary rules of order are carefully observed. A pickpocket demands to be heard as the "voice of the small man".

Jeffries is the best thing in the film. You know he's a wally, but you like him anyway, and feel a bit when he makes a mess of things with his superiors. "Why do they always pick on me?" he whines, not at all like the hard-case he played in "Two-Way Stretch". Sellers is very good as well, sliding effortlessly between his London and French accents.

People who generally avoid Sellers films before "Strangelove" are well advised to make at least this one exception. "Wrong Arm" is a smooth treat that still stands up well, right up there with "The Ladykillers" and "I'm All Right, Jack" in quality and lighter than either.

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