The Cracksman (1963)

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A shorty, kind, very innocent and efficient locksmith is cheated by a burglar in order to rob a car and to open a safe strongbox. The police catches him and is sent to jail. Once there some... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest Wright
Nyree Dawn Porter ...
Eddie Byrne ...
Geoffrey Keen ...
George A. Cooper ...
Patrick Cargill ...
Museum Guide
Norman Bird ...
Neil McCarthy ...
Van Gogh
Christopher Rhodes ...


A shorty, kind, very innocent and efficient locksmith is cheated by a burglar in order to rob a car and to open a safe strongbox. The police catches him and is sent to jail. Once there some gangsters gain his friendship to cheat him again and help then to escape. Written by Michel Rudoy <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

thief | See All (1) »







Release Date:

5 February 1965 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Kein Schloß ist vor ihm sicher  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wright, after throwing a boomerang which returns to him, says "It came back that time!", a reference to Charlie Drake's novelty hit 'My Boomerang Won't Come Back'. See more »


During the fight at the end of the film George Sanders can be seen wrapped in the model snake BEFORE it is shown happening during the fight. See more »


References Concrete Jungle (1960) See more »


In a Monastery Garden
Music by Albert W. Ketèlbey
See more »

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User Reviews

The little master
10 November 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Gullible master locksmith (Drake) is continually duped into using his lock-picking prowess to commit unsuspecting crimes for the dapper con artist Dennis Price and his shady associates. Judge Geoffrey Keen initially sentences him to one year's probation, but after a number of other ruses in which he's left holding the baby, so to speak, he's incarcerated and quickly earns the respect of fellow inmates for his sleight of hand (albeit inadvertent). But a stint in the big house isn't going to cure his credulity and he's duly enlisted in another scam on his release.

Drake looks like Gordon Jackson in Richard Attenborough's stout frame, and he has great comic timing, playing a character so innocent and optimistic, it's impossible not to form sympathy for his constant exploitation. Percy Herbert co-stars as the gaol-house heavy with whom Drake forms an enduring friendship, and the lovely Nyree Dawn Porter is the refined beauty assigned to seduce Drake into a daring safe-cracking job, organised by heavyweight mobster Eddie Byrne. The impeccable cast also features George Sanders, Dennis Price, Finlay Currie and Neil McCarthy (as Drake's slightly unusual cell-mates), Norman Bird and Ronnie Barker in an audition for "Porridge".

Quite typical of the British comedies of the era (in fact the giant marrow scene could have even been borrowed from "Two-Way Stretch"), with more than a few chuckles (the gaol break to collect bird seed or the balloon scene in which Drake is plied with champagne spring to mind) and if there's a criticism, it's the epic near two-hour duration which could have been far more economical. And sorry to disappoint, though Robert Shaw is credited in this movie on IMDb, and no disrespect intended, it's actually Richard Shaw who plays the minor role of "Moke" in the movie.

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