A Prize of Arms

The Army fiddle on a grand scale.

Paratroops are going in to uphold the rule of law, per UN directive.

Auld sods and a newbie plot the perfect crime, nip the payroll as they muster.

It’s a perfect caper, a masterpiece of a film, blowing the whole thing up at the end like your proverbial UXB.

The moral is from Sir Eustace Bowgate, “Beer Is Best”.


The Wrong Arm of the Law

A gang from Down Under clean up in London by impersonating police officers and pinching Pommie swag, the local syndicate join hands with Scotland Yard against “the IPO mob”.

An expert comedy, more than expert, half a million quid drawn on the Bank of Comedy.

The conjoined heads of crime on the Thames are Pearly Gates of Maison Jules and self-explicatory Nervous O’Toole, grand portraits.

Inspector Parker is a nit.

Losey’s M is an American job, Owen’s comic version just as apt, it ends in the Antipodes or nearly.


That Riviera Touch

London nitwits all but touch Lear for coining and are swiftly sent down on their own recognizance to the sunny shores of (after this prologue, it opens like Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, on an advert).

La Villa Tulipe is a great preparation for Night Train to Murder (dir. Joseph McGrath).

Pretty girls sur la plage, roulette, escargots and frog’s legs at Hôtel Splendide, jewels in the petrol tank. “I was only asking the lady if she’d go to the toilet for me. I mean, if she would go to the ladies’ toilet. A-assuming sh-she wanted to.” The man who broke the bank at (a gag from Rostand, Cyrano de Barclays). A double portion of everything, and to spare.

By the authors of The Intelligence Men (dir. Robert Asher) and The Magnificent Two and The Strange World of Gurney Slade (dir. Alan Tarrant), décor John Blezard, cinematography Otto Heller, score Ron Goodwin.

Time Out, “unworthy of their talents”. Film4, “so-so”. David Parkinson (Radio Times), “fitfully amusing”. TV Guide, “routine comedy”. Britmovie, “lacking in laughs.Halliwell’s Film Guide, “disappointing”.


The Magnificent Two

A toy salesman from Manchester becomes the Presidente of Parazuelia and is more or less assassinated, his partner saves the day, the rebel girls proclaim a Third Republic.

So the gigantic political economy is dilated upon at length, a full-fledged symposium on the Cam.

Beau Geste at the military museum, The Wonderful Country (dir. Robert Parrish) by way of Robert Asher’s The Intelligence Men.

Time Out Film Guide, “lame”.

Halliwell’s Film Guide, “unhappy”.