EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|TWO WAY STRETCH (director: Robert Day; screenwriters: Vivian Cox/Len Heath/John Warren/Alan Hackney; cinematographer: Geoffrey Faithfull; editor: Bert Rule; music: Ken Jones; cast: Peter Sellers (Dodger Lane), David Lodge (Jelly Knight), Bernard Cribbins (Lennie Price), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Soapy Stevens), Maurice Denham (The Governor), Lionel Jeffries (Chief P.O. Crout), Irene Handl (Mrs. Price), Liz Fraser (Ethel), Beryl Reid (Miss Pringle), Noel Hood (Miss Prescott), Myrette Morven (Miss Meakin), George Woodbridge (Chief P.O. Jenkins), Edwin Brown (Warder Charlie), Cyril Chamberlain (Gate Warder, Day), Wallas Eaton (Gate Warder, Night), Andrew Downie (Garden Warder); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: M. Smedley Aston; Anchor Bay; 1960-UK)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Robert Day ("The Man
with Bogart's Face"/"The Green Man"/"The Rebel") directs this
mildly amusing but easily forgettable comedy caper that reminds one of
Hogan's Heroes or the Carry On series, though slightly more
sophisticated than either of those two. It's mainly scripted by Len Heath and John Warren. What keeps it
fresh despite all the stale gags, is the top-flight supporting cast of
British character actors.
Three Cockney inmates serving
a three-year stretch for robbery at Huntleigh Prison--Jelly Knight (David Lodge), Lenny Price (Bernard
Cribbins) and Dodger Lane (Peter Sellers)--enjoy a
pleasant stay in prison as trustees because of the reform-minded
progressive Governor (Maurice
Denham) and the Chief
P.O. Jenkins (George Woodbridge) and their lax disciplinary policies. With
only a few days left before their release, the boys get a surprise
visit from their old con artist partner Soapy Stevens (Wilfrid Hyde-White), who pretends to be
their vicar. He suggests they break out of jail the night before their
official release to rob a visiting sultan of his valuable diamonds,
while the jewels are being escorted by the army through London, and
then return to jail for their perfect alibi. Unfortunately soft-hearted
Jenkins retires and the new Chief
P.O. Crout (Lionel Jeffries) is a hard-nosed disciplinarian, who knows
the boys and watches them closely.
The jewel heist seemed more
like an afterthought and the prison sequences seemed more silly than
funny, but the good-natured antics keep the thin story line briskly
There are appealing cameos from Irene Handl, Liz Fraser and Beryl Reid.
REVIEWED ON 1/10/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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