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Otley (1969)

M/PG | | Comedy | 22 May 1969 (UK)
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Gerald Otley, wannabe antiques dealer, is kicked out of his flat for failing to pay rent, sleeps at a friend's home for the night, wakes up two days later in an airport field, and finds himself entangled in international espionage.

Director:

Dick Clement

Writers:

Dick Clement (screenplay), Ian La Frenais (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Courtenay ... Gerald Arthur Otley
Romy Schneider ... Imogen
Alan Badel ... Alec Hadrian
James Villiers ... Hendrickson
Leonard Rossiter ... Johnston
James Bolam ... Albert
Fiona Lewis ... Lin
Freddie Jones ... Philip Proudfoot
James Cossins ... Jeffcock
James Maxwell ... Rollo
Edward Hardwicke ... Lambert
Ronald Lacey ... Curtis
Phyllida Law ... Jean
Geoffrey Bayldon ... Superintendent Hewitt
Frank Middlemass ... Bruce
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Everybody loves Otley...well, almost everybody

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Banditák hálójában See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both movies that actor Tom Courtenay appeared in in 1968 were both espionage films, this spy comedy and the more serious A Dandy in Aspic (1968). See more »

Quotes

[having been evicted, Otley is desperate for somewhere to stay]
Gerald Arthur Otley: Can you put us up?
Jean: No, we can't.
Gerald Arthur Otley: Oh, just for a couple of nights?
Jean: No. Miles is at home and the dog's on heat.
Gerald Arthur Otley: Well, she's got nothing to worry about from me!
See more »

Connections

References The Scalphunters (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Homeless Bones
Written by Stanley Myers and Don Partridge
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User Reviews

 
Homeless bones
25 July 2016 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

Of all the spy spoofs that were set off by the James Bond films in the 60's, this was just about the best. Over 40 years later it's still witty with beautifully observed characters, great locations, and a suspenseful story. To top it off, it has a catchy title song that captures the spirit of the hero perfectly.

Gerald Arthur Otley is a likely lad. He's an opportunistic, occasional antiques dealer - he has sold his landlady's furniture - who gets by on his wits and his way with the ladies. However things get out of control when he becomes involved in an espionage plot.

He is kidnapped twice and meets some interesting but dangerous people including a female agent, Imogen, played by beautiful and enigmatic Romy Schneider. "Imogen", he exclaims when she first tells him her name, "It sounds like something you put on cut knees". He also meets Johnson, a hit man played by Leonard Rossiter whose light-heartedness about his work belies a merciless nature.

Director Dick Clement gave the film a light touch, and Tom Courtney reveals a flair for comedy where a look says a lot. The film is almost a cross between "Alfie" and "Arabesque", but works far better than just about all the spy spoofs that hit like a tsunami in the 1960s.

The film has a serious side and there is an element of danger for Otley; likable as he is, his survival is not a forgone conclusion. Although he is a bit of a loser, his luck holds up despite his relationships with women seeming always to be of short duration. His parting with Imogen at the end after their brief affair sums it up; when he asks if he can see her again, she answers, "Don't be silly", and drives away.

The film is also something of a time capsule. Like "Goodbye Gemini" made around the same time, the background of the film captures not only the look of the times - the hairstyles, the clothes and the cars - but also the mood, including Otley's casual day-to-day approach to life.

Along with great shots of late 60's Portobello Road and other London locations, the film has a score by the eclectic Stanley Myers. The song "Homeless bones" co-written and sung by busker Don Partridge, adds the right touch to a film that works beautifully on many levels.


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