HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You Don't Nomi
Man from the Alamo, The
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Otley On Nobody's Secret Service
Year: 1968
Director: Dick Clement
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Romy Schneider, Alan Badel, James Villiers, Leonard Rossiter, Freddie Jones, Fiona Lewis, James Bolam, James Cossins, James Maxwell, Edward Hardwicke, Ronald Lacey, Phyllida Law, Geoffrey Bayldon, Frank Middlemass, Robin Askwith
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lightfingered Gerald Arthur Otley (Tom Courtenay) has no grand plan to travel through life, he simply takes it as it comes, but that can be a problem when, for example, he is thrown out of the place he is staying by his landlady for non-payment of his rent - and this after he spent the night with her in bed! No respect, some people. Anyway, he has to find somewhere else to sleep or risk a night on the streets, so sets about asking everyone he knows, and failing to get anywhere though he does manage to get an invite to a party...

But he might have been better off spending that evening wandering the streets of London instead considering what happens next. Fair enough, he does get somewhere to stay that Saturday night by kipping on the chaise longue of an old diplomat friend (Edward Hardwicke) but when he wakes up, it's not only Monday but he's lying next to the runway at an airport with his loafers on the wrong feet. On getting his bearings, it becomes clear that he is wanted for murder - the killing of the friend who gave him a bed for the night, but the reasons why remain deliberately murky in this, one of the espionage movies writing team Dick Clement (who also directed) and Ian La Frenais concocted.

The duo would be most celebrated for their mastery of the British sitcom, but they made quite a number of films as well, not quite as successfully though Otley can be considered one of the instances their particular, earthy, character-based style paid dividends as it was very entertaining all the way through. Much of that was thanks to the canny casting of Courtenay as a not entirely admirable stooge for every spy in London, or so it seems, yet we are invested in his wellbeing simply because he is as confused as the rest of us about what is actually happening - the plotting was insistently complicated and shadowy.

That said, it did resolve itself with surprising ease, which may have been slightly disappointing but after seeing the lineup of fine British character actors parading across the screen behaving as if they know what is going on even if Otley (never mind us) does not, you can admit that time spent with this slightly parodic, Swinging Sixties adventure has not been entirely wasted. There was a sense here Clement and La Frenais, adapting the first in a series of books by Martin Waddell, were including a lot of bits and pieces just because they could rather than they're being desperately relevant to the twisting narrative as Courtenay blundered his way through it, led instead of leader.

Therefore you could get a throwaway gag about a Gatwick Handling sign at the airport (unexpectedly saucy) or another of the rock band The Herd in a queue of people being awarded by the Queen - but with none of their songs to be heard on the soundtrack - and then a more extended affair such as Otley taking his driving test only to get into a car chase with the spies pursuing him, leaving the instructor panicking and passing him to get him to stop. For lovers of British character actors there was a wealth of them here, with a hippy James Bolam (huh?) partnered bizarrely with Fiona Lewis, a gay Freddie Jones as one of those sinister figures who knows what is really going on, and Leonard Rossiter oddly cast as a humorous hitman who nearly gets our anti-hero blown up on the London Underground. There were plenty of views of the capital too for that particular sixties flavour, and Romy Schneider provided glamour, another spy giving Otley the runaround (though more accomodating than most). If this was lightweight, it was none the worse for that. Jaunty music by Stanley Myers.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2269 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: