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Vittorio De Sica
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A tontine is established for a dozen children, a tontine being a kind of bet/insurance, money is put in for each to grow with interest and the last survivor is to get the lot. We watch the group dwindle until only two brothers are left. One brother is watched by his nephews who will keep him alive at all costs, the other lives in ill health and poverty as the only support of his fairly stupid grandson. Statues and bodies are switched, in the wrong boxes until everyone is sure someone has died. Now if they can only make it seem as if the other brother died first, hundreds of thousands of pounds (in Victorian England when a pound was a pound) will be theirs. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Sixties take offs of the Victorian era are usually very entertaining. All of the clichés of repression and morbidity are always very over the top and they are here. A woman falls madly in love with a man when she sees his arms, the salvation army stick their nose into everything. It is perhaps more insightful into the sixties than anything! This is by no means a master piece, frankly with such a stellar cast it is rather disappointing. The script tries too hard to be funny and the gags come too thick and fast , especially at the end, for the viewer to be able to follow, certainly it is very unlike the slower, more leisurely pace of Stevenson's book.
However it is certainly worth watching. If nothing else it contains one of my favourite lines ever 'Listen to me all you eggs'!
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