Gerald Otley, a petty thief and garbage rummager, wakes up one morning, after a drunken night on the town, and finds that he is wanted by the police for murder. And that is only the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sir Alex Hadrian
Philip Proudfoot
James Cossins ...
James Maxwell ...
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Insp. Hewett


Gerald Otley, a petty thief and garbage rummager, wakes up one morning, after a drunken night on the town, and finds that he is wanted by the police for murder. And that is only the beginning. While being pursued for a crime he did not commit, he is kidnapped by a group of criminals who suspect him of being involved with double agents. Otley manages to escape, but cannot avoid getting into one near-fatal crisis after another, as police and foreign agents chase after him. It is a wild week of misadventures which Otley will never forget! Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

thief | murder | escape | chase | spy | See All (36) »


Everybody loves Otley...well, almost everybody




M | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 June 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Banditák hálójában  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First theatrical feature film directed by Dick Clement. See more »


Gerald Arthur Otley: [trying to dissuade his captors from torturing him] Do what you like with my mind, just leave my precious body alone!
See more »


References The Scalphunters (1968) See more »


Homeless Bones
Written by Stanley Myers and Don Partridge
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User Reviews

Overlooked gem that deserves a DVD!
11 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite 60's films. It's based on the first of a series of books by Martin Waddell about Gerald Arthur Otley, a young man whose occasional pocket-picking inadvertently lands him in the middle of a spy plot. (The books are great fun, too). Poor Otley's in way over his head, can't tell the good guys from the bad, and like Dorothy in "the Wizard of Oz," simply wants to go home! Suddenly his dull old life doesn't look so bad. There are many funny sequences, but the one in which he takes his driving test is truly inspired.

Tom Courtenay gives one of his best performances as the lead character, and he's well supported by a terrific cast of veteran character actors. Leonard Rossiter has an especially funny cameo. Moreover, "Otley" has one of the catchiest soundtracks of that era, a quirky mix of classical and rock tunes, and you'll find yourself humming the main theme for days after you've watched the film.

Why isn't this available on DVD? Or even VHS? It's a major oversight. "Otley Forever!"

21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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