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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>
In the aftermath of the train wreck scene, the background sounds (i.e., muttering and exclamatory crowd noises) are "looped" mercilessly, the same few seconds of "babble" are repeated at least ten or fifteen times in a few minutes. See more »
There are many reasons to enjoy this film. It is a catalogue of English comic and serious actors, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore not the least among them. But this show belongs to the bit players. Wilfrid Lawson as Peacock is superb. I hope he garnered enough attention from this role to cap off his career. Bit and character players are a special breed.
The film is vaguely psychedelic. The art nouveau lettering on title cards fits in with the Haight Ashbury tone of the times. The plot is solid and humorous throughout yet it depends on the basic slapstick for its conclusion.
Well-written, well-acted, well-directed, well-conceived. A treat.
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