HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Crooks Anonymous Kick The Crime HabitBuy this film here.
Year: 1962
Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Leslie Phillips, Stanley Baxter, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Julie Christie, James Robertson Justice, Michael Medwin, Pauline Jameson, Robertson Hare, Raymond Huntley, Norman Rossington, Harry Fowler, Charles Lloyd Pack, Dennis Waterman, Dick Emery, Dandy Nichols
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dandy Forsdyke (Leslie Phillips) is something of an opportunist, that is to say, he's a crook. In spite of promising his girlfriend Babette La Verne (Julie Christie) that he will be sticking to the straight and narrow from now on, he just cannot resist any chance to steal some bauble or bundle of notes that comes his way. Take this evening, when he walks past a jewellers' and invites himself in, pretends to size up an engagement ring but then nicks some nouveau riche lady's sparkler instead, slipping out unnoticed. Even when he reaches Babette's place of work where she is hired as an exotic dancer, he has to let himself down by helping himself to one customer's wallet, and when she finds out she is furious. But what if Dandy could get help?

As the title suggests, this posited thievery as an addiction that could be cured, as if every serial robber was a victim of kleptomania rather than a moral disappointment to society. Alcoholics Anonymous had been gaining popularity in helping with drinking problems, so the script here cheekily appropriated the professional assistance and made up their own variation on it for our amusement. Amusement was really the word, as there was nothing absolutely sidesplitting about the movie, it was simply a series of light, entertaining scenes performed by an impeccable cast of the sort you'd expect to see in a comedy effort of this vintage, though you'll note one of the cast was on her way to bigger things.

Julie Christie, for it was she, would soon have Hollywood beckoning, so it was fun to go back and watch her in these early works (this was her big screen debut) and see how she operated in a role that was mainly decorative, though grew in stature as the story progressed when it needed someone to alert the other, less scrupulous characters to the error of their ways. Still, there was some novelty in her playing the girlfriend of smooth comic character actor Phillips whose persona tended towards the humorous lothario thanks to his highly distinctive, persuasively classy tones, especially when his roles saw him more often than not a rather corrupting influence. Babette remained immune to such things, however.

As for the main premise of the plot, it featured the curious organisation Crooks Anonymous, consisting of a bunch of ex-cons who seek to deliver a stern course in reform that does not conform to any of the official channels. Led by Wilfrid Hyde-White, it is established as a hierarchy of monk-like "brothers" who see to it that after a session where the victims, sorry, volunteers are tempted to steal then when they finally resist, they are ready to re-enter the community and get a proper job. Dandy goes through with it for Babette's sake, and the set-up is a strange one reminiscent of those secret societies that you would see in episodes of The Avengers or The Prisoner later on in the decade, where a dose of paranoia might be inveigling its way into the protagonist's world - it certainly succeeds for Dandy.

Or does it? The first half was detailing his reform, and featured Scottish master of disguise, or at least imaginative costume and make-up, Stanley Baxter before he moved from film to television, becoming one of the biggest stars of his day. Here he essayed the almost Karloffian Widdowes, Hyde-White's right hand man and often hidden under his disguises all the better to orchestrate the candidate's new leaf, turning over of, a neat line in making the most of Baxter's talents. But then, everyone was very well-used here, from James Robertson Justice's Scrooge-like boss generating chuckles through his gruff meanness (the narrative was partly set at Christmas) to the smaller roles that had Norman Rossington at his most typical as a stoic night watchman or Dick Emery and Dandy Nichols as those two Northerners Forsdyke rips off at the beginning. If it took a familiar turn into heist territory, its faith in people's better nature was disarming; no classic, but appealing nonetheless. Music by Muir Matheson and George Martin (yes, the Beatles producer).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1248 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: