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. They dress as police and steal from the crooks. This ... See full summary »
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... See full summary »
Cat burglar Henry Clarke and his accomplices the Moreaus attempt to steal diamonds from the château of millionaire Salinas. However, Henry's partners in crime aren't the most emotionally stable people.
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 »
Peter Sellers plays Aldo Vanucci (aka the Fox), one of the greatest criminals of the world, and master of disguise. After Aldo escapes from the Italian prison he was held in, he meets again... See full summary »
This is the end of a glorious military career: General Leo Fitzjohn retires to his Sussex manor where he will write his memoirs. Unfortunately, his private life is a disaster: a confirmed ... See full summary »
A tontine is established for twenty boys in 1818 England - a tontine being a kind of insurance wager in which money is invested by each participant, to grow with interest, with the last survivor to get the substantial payout. We watch the group dwindle until only two elderly brothers are left in 1882. 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 perpetually confused grandson. Statues and bodies are switched, in the wrong boxes, until everyone is sure that one (or both) of the brothers has died. Now if they can only make it seem as if the other brother died first, over a hundred thousand pounds (in Victorian England, when a pound was a pound) will be theirs. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The quiet little black comedy "The Wrong Box" has a superb cast. Veteran British stage/cinema actors (Ralph Richardson, John Mills, Wilfred Lawson) play with rising stars (Michael Caine, just off "Alfie", and Peter Cook & Dudley Moore from the groundbreaking "Beyond the Fringe" revue). Established comic actors (Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock) give performances that carefully-polished little gems. Even the tiniest "blink and you'll miss 'em" roles are loaded with familiar character actors (Cicely Courtneidge, John Le Mesurier, Thorley Walters &c) rubbing elbows with rising talents (Jeremy Lloyd, James Villiers, Leonard Rossiter, Graham Stark) making the movie a veritable field day for spotters of British humor. The performances in the major roles are all solid. Some of the smaller parts have variable performances: Thorley Walters is delightful, Courtneidge, too overbearing). All the actors seem to realize that they must take this sort of comedy seriously -- mugging kills this sort of humor. The leads (Richardson, Mills, Cook, Moore, Caine, Lawson) are all suitably earnest. Only Nanette Newman (the director's wife) doesn't seem quite up to her part, being a better actress in modern dress; but she's quite pretty enough and she's good enough not to be utterly lost even in this ensemble of extremely talented actors.
The humor is quiet, with a Victorian hush over the proceedings, lending a (perhaps tongue in cheek) funereal respect to its theme of death with laughter. The gentle pace picks up near the end with a chase with hearses and beer wagons, and a climax that gathers all the principles in a cemetery in a satisfying conclusion.
The witty script is filled with little bits that might not register at first (such as the pulse bit, or "Can you speak a little lower" and the peculiar words "unnecessarily mutilated"). Some of the sight gags go askew, but enough of them work to make them worth while. It's not a movie for every taste. Anglophiles and those who appreciate an easy-going humor may find it work a peek. Anyone who loves Peter Sellers has to see his Pratt.
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