In Victorian England, a fortune now depends on which of two brothers outlives the other, or can be made to have seemed to do so.


Bryan Forbes


Robert Louis Stevenson (suggested by a novel by), Lloyd Osbourne (suggested by a novel by) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Masterman Finsbury
Ralph Richardson ... Joseph Finsbury
Michael Caine ... Michael Finsbury
Peter Cook ... Morris Finsbury
Dudley Moore ... John Finsbury
Nanette Newman ... Julia Finsbury
Tony Hancock ... Detective
Peter Sellers ... Doctor Pratt
Cicely Courtneidge ... Major Martha
Wilfrid Lawson ... Peacock - the Butler
Thorley Walters ... Lawyer Patience
Gerald Sim ... 1st Undertaker
Peter Graves ... Military Officer
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Hackett
Norman Bird ... Clergyman


In 1818, England, a tontine i(lottery) is established for 20 boys by their parents. Each parent put £1000 into the pot, the winner being the last surviving boy, will recieve all the money (the total, £100,000.00 - (equal to over £12m today). The group dwindles until only 2 elderly brothers are left by1882. One brother's watched by his nephews who'll keep him alive at all costs. The other lives in ill health and poverty - the only support is his perpetually confused grandson. A deliciously hysterical black comedy Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Virtuous maidens...cunning cousins...dastardly deeds...bodies in barrels...and boxes and boxes of boxes!


Comedy | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This movie was released seventy-seven years after its source novel was published. See more »


Joseph Finsbury's nephews keep taking away his tobacco, presumably to extend his longevity. In the time period of this film, it was not known that smoking is harmful. See more »


Michael Finsbury: [reading a telegram that has just been delivered] It's from Lady Pitman. She's sending back that statue we sent her. Says it's a fraud... *Was* it a fraud, Peacock?
Peacock: Life is a fraud, Master Michael.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The various key moments in the story were introduced by caption cards, in the style of a silent film, such as "Alone with her at last - in a room full of eggs" and "The wrong box is delivered". See more »


References Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) See more »


Minuet in G
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played briefly on piano by Nanette Newman
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User Reviews

See it for Peacock
11 August 2005 | by pshore1See all my reviews

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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English | Swahili

Release Date:

1 July 1966 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wrong Box See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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