HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Wrong Arm of the Law, The Crime Does Not Pay
Year: 1963
Director: Cliff Owen
Stars: Peter Sellers, Lionel Jeffries, Bernard Cribbins, Davy Kaye, Nanette Newman, Bill Kerr, Ed Devereaux, Reg Lye, John Le Mesurier, Graham Stark, Martin Boddey, Irene Browne, Arthur Mullard, Dermot Kelly, Vanda Godsell, Tutte Lemkow, Dennis Price, Dick Emery
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Three of the gang masterminded by Pearly Gates (Peter Sellers) are in the middle of a robbery, stealing the mail from a post office van, but little do they know they are being watched. What appears to be a police squad car with three coppers inside trails their getaway car and when they get back to their base of operations, the "police" strike, taking away the loot and telling the gang members to stay where they are. But they soon twig that something fishy is going on when the coppers don't return for them - they've scarpered with the cash and London's criminal underworld are now subject to law-breaking themselves...

Does anything say Britain in 1963 quite like Peter Sellers doing the twist? Just one of the incidental pleasures of The Wrong Arm of the Law, a black and white crime caper filmed at the point where the U.K. was making the transition into colour. It makes up for the monochrome with a selection of vivid characters, with it's team of writers - including Tony Hancock's regular scripters, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson - offering up a wealth of juicy personality quirks and a fine ear for the vernacular, meaning this sounded better than many of the comedies of the period.

Sellers is ostensibly the star turn, but he's backed up with solid support from all quarters. We first meet Gates at his day job, selling frocks - sorry, gowns - to rich ladies and adopting a French accent to do so, all part of his charm. But when he gets behind closed doors, he reverts to his Cockney tones (a dig at then-renowed ladies' hairdresser Raymond Bessone), as he does when he finds out his gang have been fooled. There must be a traitor in their midst, but who? We find out early on it's Gates's girlfriend Valerie (Nanette Newman), but for some reason no one ever realises that she was informing for the fake police, not even at the end.

The criminal gangs of London decide to band together and see what they can do to stop the rip-offs, and it's a mark of the film's quality that even a talent like Dennis Price is allowed to light up the screen for a brief minute in a cameo, nominating Gates as the man to go to the real police with a proposal: they will stop illegal activity for a whole twenty-four hours to allow them to catch the impostors. But with a bungler like Inspector "Nosey" Parker (Lionel Jeffries on terrific form) heading the investigation, perhaps things might not go as smoothly as they would hope.

There is an abundance of idiosyncratic details guaranteed to raise a chuckle here, such as Bernard Cribbins as Irish criminal leader Nervous O'Toole having his watch stolen by his young son (twice), John Le Mesurier as the Assistant Commisioner enjoying his trip to the carnival a little too much having visited only as neutral ground to meet the gangs, or Parker blundering into the wrong apartment and being faced with a shocked Dick Emery about to conduct an affair. There may be echoes of The Lavender Hill Mob, particularly in its ending, and it might not be fall down hilarious, but with watching this is the overwhelming feeling of a job well done, and in that very satisfying indeed. Light and jazzy score by Richard Rodney Bennett.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3919 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: