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United Kingdom 1963
Directed by
Cliff Owen
94 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

The Wrong Arm Of The Law

The “bungling crooks” comedy,  with its spirit of inoffensive anti-establishmentarianism was very popular in Britain in the late1950s with films like Too Many Crooks (1959) and Make Mine Mink (1960) which provided plenty of genial chuckles. The Wrong Arm Of The Law is very much of that stripe.

Peter Sellers plays Pearly Gates, a Cockney spiv who uses his front as a French couturier to rob his well-to-do clientele. His set-up is kyboshed however when a group of crooks (Bill Kerr, Ed Devereaux and Reg Lye) from Downunder start muscling in on his jobs thanks to inside information from Pearly's girlfriend (Played by Nanette Newman who had also starred in Too Many Crooks) and so he joins forces with another gang leader, Nervous O'Toole (Bernard Cribbins) and Scotland Yard to outwit them.

Scripted largely by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson who would be responsible for so much classic British television comedy of the 1960s like Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe and Son, and 'Til Death Us Du Part, the film revels in the East End vernacular and features many of the favourite faces of British comedy of the era, the standout being Lionel Jeffries as the vain but incompetant Inspector "Nosey" Parker. Although it weakens in its latter stages with the oft-used Keystone Kops type of ending, if you have a taste for old school British comedy you will be well satisfied

 DVD Extras: Available as a Peter Sellers double disc release that includes The Waltz Of The Toreadors.

Available from: Shock Entertainment




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