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Half-way through his 12-year prison sentence for an incompetent armed robbery, Jimmy Hands gets a lucky break: he's transferred to a prison from which he can probably escape. He convinces the governor to stage a musical in an old chapel next to the prison's outer wall. He rounds up volunteer actors and puts his escape plan into production. Two other barriers, besides the wall, confront him: the arrival of a nasty inmate, John Toombes, who insists on joining the escape, and Jimmy's feelings of attraction for Anabel, a social worker who agrees to appear in the play. Opening night approaches: is this Jimmy's breakout performance? Written by
Repeat-offender Jimmy (James Nesbitt) finds himself doing time after a botched bank job. When the prison warden (Christopher Plummer), an aspiring playwright, proposes that the prison put on a production of his musical, Jimmy and his fellow inmates plan to use the performance as a diversion while they make a get away. Things get complicated, however, when Jimmy falls for the prison's psychologist, Annabel (Olivia Williams). This entertaining black comedy carries some good acting and a marvelously understated sense of humor. The warden's musical, based on the swashbuckling life of Viscount Horatio Nelson, is about as lavish as an elementary school production, and wonderfully dreadful to boot. Although a bit slow at times, patient viewers will find themselves rewarded.
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