A fine Sunday afternoon comedy. Peter Sellers stars as the crook who’s spent his time in chokey coming up with a plan for the perfect robbery. What could possibly go wrong?
Three old lags (Peter Sellers, David Lodge, Bernard Cribbins) concoct a failsafe alibi for their Â£5 million diamond heist – they are already banged up. It’s not much of a prison, though. This cheerful, genteel establishment allows them to live in a sweet little apartment with barred windows, through which deliveries of little luxuries regularly arrive in a picnic basket – until an ascetic new chief warden (Lionel Jeffries, wonderfully twitchy and apoplectic) arrives to spoil their fun.
The old Will Hay vehicle Convict 99 (1938) is an unacknowledged influence, but Day’s nippy direction makes this the superior product, and with delightful performances from the excellent cast, it’s a joy to watch.
Peter Sellers as Dodger Lane
Maurice Denham as The Governor
Lionel Jeffries as Chief P.O. Sidney Crout
David Lodge as Jelly Knight
Bernard Cribbins as Lennie Price
Wilfrid Hyde-White as Soapy Stevens
Irene Handl as Mrs. Price
George Woodbridge as Chief P.O. Jenkins
Liz Fraser as Ethel
John Harvey as Governor Rockhampton Prison
Director: Robert Day
Script: Vivian Cox, John Warren, Len Heath
UK | 84 minutes | 1960