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  • Amusing comedy has a peculiar trio of Aussie swindlers being chased by Scotland Yard , and they are also thieves because having been posing as policemen and confiscating pillage from apprehended robbers . The Australian bunch being informed by Valerie (Nanette Newman) , Pearly's fiancée (Peter Sellers) , the leader of a group of inept crooks . Then , the criminal band organize a convention among the main robbers (Peter Sellers , Bernard Cribbins) and scheme a twisted plan . After that , there happens a meeting between robbing chiefs and cops (Lionel Jeffries , John Le Musurier) which takes place at a merry-go-round . Later on , they set up a trap to track them down.

    Agreeable spoof comedy in ¨Ealing¨ style , it packs some very funny and wacky moments . This is a classic British comedy of the 60s in the wake of ¨Lavender hill mob¨ that is clearly its inspiration . Enjoyable script divides his satirical jibes between the underworld crooks and police . It contains sympathetic performances from Peter Sellers , Bernard Cribbins and special mention for Lionel Jeffries as an unfortunate cop . Secondary intervention by Dennis Price as an educated crook and cameo role by Michael Caine at the Police Station. Furthermore , Graham Stark as a likable thief , formerly becoming himself into usual ¨Pink Panther¨ series . Atmospheric score by Richard Rodney Bennett with jazzy sound on the main titles . Appropriate cinematography in black and white by Ernest Steward. The picture was well and originally directed by Cliff Owen . He is a habitual director for television and an expert on comedy as he proved in ¨ No sex please : we're British¨, ¨The bawdy adventures of Tom Jones¨ , ¨A man could get killed¨ and several others. The flick will appeal to Peter Sellers fans and Brit comedy enthusiasts . Rating : Good and better than average English comedy . This is one of the few enduringly funny films in British cinema of the Sixties . Essential and indispensable seeing .
  • This film is full of many wonderful characters from the mainstream 50's British cinematic comedy era. The film centres on the criminal gangs of London being double crossed in their criminal activities by a bunch of foreign criminal gang members who impersonate Metropolitan Police Officers.

    They turn up at the scene of the crime and then disappear with the stolen goods leaving the criminals in limbo waiting to be arrested by the real police.

    Arthur Mullard, Peter Sellers, Lionel Jeffries, Bernard Cribbens and many more make this a gem of a title to watch. Some of the film was produced around Teddington, South West London, the scene of the mass arrest at the railroad level crossing was filmed in a Teddington street called Fairfax Road.

    The crossing was taken out of use many years ago but the building on which Peter Sellers and his cohorts sat observing the proceedings is still in place adjacent to the point where the crossing was.

    The area where the Jaguar car driven by Mullard screams over the bridge is the railway road bridge at Strawberry Hill (not far from Teddington).

    I humbly give this film 9 out of 10, but then maybe I'm biased as I just love old British comedies such as this. Produced by Romulus Films and distributed by British Lion Films, what could be better?
  • . .....and clever! A band of crooks are dressing up as police and stealing the booty from other crooks who are on the job. The criminal underground are outraged and of course the real police are none too happy that there are crooks out there impersonating them. So together they plot to capture these uncouth brigands. Practically every scene is hilarious, and there's lots of fun movie references (such as an instructional movie viewing session for the criminals that includes such caper classics as RIFIFI and THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN).

    It would be difficult to pick one Peter Sellers film as my favourite but this one would most likely get my first vote!
  • Peter Sellers is, unusually, the quiet at the center of the storm that makes up the plot of this wonderfully funny film. He plays Pearly Gates, a criminal (and women's wear salesman), who learns that an Australian gang is dressing up as policemen, intercepting Pearly's mob in mid-theft and making off with the goods. He joins forces not only with the leader of a rival gang, who are also suffering from the Australian competition, but also with the police, who don't want their reputation besmirched.

    Sellers is very good, but top acting honors go to Lionel Jefferies as the hopelessly idiotic policeman trying to prove himself by catching the criminals. Jefferies and Bernard Cribbins, as Nervous (the rival gang's leader), give expertly larger-than-life performances while getting their biggest laughs with throwaway lines and subtle bits of business (like Nervous finishing up his negotiations with Pearly by pulling out some family snaps). Cliff Owen's direction is very sharp and very fast, and allows a cast of experienced character actors to do their best work. Dennis Price displays flawless timing and delivery in a small, unbilled cameo. This film might just be a hidden classic.
  • The Wrong Arm of the Law:A charming evocation of a kind of reassuring never-neverland, populated by loveable rogues and dimwitted but honest cops. Of course the crime underworld was never like this, but when the horrors of the modern world seem to crowd in on me, this is just the kind of amusing escapist whimsy I love to take solace in.
  • London's crooks are finding that no matter what job they pull, the London Constabulary are waiting to feel their collars. All of which comes as a great surprise to the police as they know nothing about it. It appears that a new firm of antipodean crooks are on the manor, who are not only stealing from London's finest thieves, they are also impersonating police officers in the process. There's only one thing for it, the constabulary and the villains must unite to restore the standard police/criminal workings in London!

    The British Crime Crooks Caper, when it comes to film, is a long and distinguished list, comprising of brilliant stuff like Ask A Policeman 1938, much loved stuff like The Italian Job 1969 and enjoyable fare like Too Many Crooks 1959. The Wrong Arm Of The Law 1963 falls into the latter category, hugely enjoyable with sharp scripting and performances to match. Boosted by the considerable writing talents of Ray Galton & Alan Simpson, the picture manages to steer well clear of being overtly twee, something that Crooks In Cloisters was guilty of the following year.

    The humour on show here by and large comes courtesy of the unlikely alliance between London's good and bad elements, a code and adherence to rival ethics brings about some delightful mirth. Both parties are fierce rivals but there is still unwritten rules that both sides must follow, and thankfully the astute pen scribbling from Galton & Simpson creates some smashing set pieces and quite ridiculous {in a good way} scenarios. All of which would have gone to waste if the cast did not fulfil the scripts potential, but when you got Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins and a quite fabulous Lionel Jeffries fronting your movie, you are definitely in good hands. The Wrong Arm Of The Law is highly recommended to anyone who loves an old fashioned British comedy. 7.5/10
  • Peter Sellers comedies from before 1964 often come off to me as dingy, dated, and a bit twee. So "The Wrong Arm Of The Law" surprised me. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as easily as I did.

    The movie's title comes from a predicament mob boss Pearly Gates (Sellers) calls the "oldest bleeding con in the business": Dress up like coppers, catch other criminals in the act, steal their loot, and get away. After being stung eight times, Gates' own gang call on the real law for help.

    It's easy to confuse this with "Two-Way Stretch", another caper comedy Sellers made three years before, with both Bernard Cribbins and Lionel Jeffries in key support roles. "Two-Way Stretch" is amusing but stale; this holds up both as a story and large-scale character piece.

    By day, Gates sells high-end women's clothing with the help of a fake French accent, using his knowledge of the well-to-do to mastermind burglaries. Cribbins is a rival crime boss so non-threatening he shows off his family photos; Jeffries is inept police inspector "Nosey Parker", who suspects a buy-off attempt when Gates first appears in his office.

    "I'm not trying to bribe you, mate," Gates replies. "I don't carry loose change."

    Also on hand to bring considerably sex appeal is cat-eyed, slinky Nanette Newman, Pearly's girl. Watching her make out with Sellers' stomach in one scene is pretty erotic stuff; she is also cleverly integrated into the rest of the story.

    Director Cliff Owen did mostly British TV work. He shows himself here an accomplished cinematic stylist. An opening credit sequence recalls "Catch Me If You Can". The ending is remarkably satisfying; all the story elements come together with surprising grace. You wish Sellers' later, bigger-budget comedies were as well crafted.

    One caveat: There are no big laughs in "Wrong Arm", just many small ones and amusing asides that keep coming. There's a gentleness reminiscent of an Ealing comedy. When the different gangs discover they're all being had by the same outside interest, they call a meeting where parliamentary rules of order are carefully observed. A pickpocket demands to be heard as the "voice of the small man".

    Jeffries is the best thing in the film. You know he's a wally, but you like him anyway, and feel a bit when he makes a mess of things with his superiors. "Why do they always pick on me?" he whines, not at all like the hard-case he played in "Two-Way Stretch". Sellers is very good as well, sliding effortlessly between his London and French accents.

    People who generally avoid Sellers films before "Strangelove" are well advised to make at least this one exception. "Wrong Arm" is a smooth treat that still stands up well, right up there with "The Ladykillers" and "I'm All Right, Jack" in quality and lighter than either.
  • paul-barnes909024 September 2007
    This is one of my favourite films - although I agree Peter Sellers does not steal the show (for once), its the whole cast and their interaction which makes this film so special.

    Lionel Jeffries gives a brilliant performance as an inept policeman and Bernard Cribbins role as 'Pearly Gates' gang-lord rival is superb. The plot is well covered on this site, but I would like to add that the robbery on the security van was filmed in Mill Rd, Uxbridge (by the canal bridge - the shop&pub are still there) and I think the airfield was Denham (again nr. Uxbridge).

    A brilliant film - They just don't make 'em like that anymore!

    On a similar thread I would recommend Norman Wisdom in 'On the Beat'- one of his best performances in my opinion, and Sellers again in 'Two-way stretch' if you're looking for a good laugh.
  • Watch the movie. There's this one bit I like best....no - there's this other bit....no, no....my favourite bit.... JUST WATCH THE MOVIE!!!! Just to see the look on 'Siggy Schmoltz' (a professional thief bought in to help and who's not in on the 'caper) face as they line up a (broken down)police van to ram the bank delivery van - miss, and the driver of the bank van helps them back it up for a second go. I had to stop the movie so I could stop laughing long enough to breathe! 10/10!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Pearly Gates and Nervous O'Toole, the two biggest villains in London, suddenly start finding their blags are being rumbled by a trio of Australian con-artists posing as coppers. Unable to stop this gang, they team up with Inspector "Nosey" Parker of Scotland Yard to see if their combined forces can restore much-needed order to the criminal way of life.

    One of the funniest British movies of all time, written by no fewer than seven men, including two of the best comedy writing duos; Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, and John Warren and Len Heath. The great charm of this picture is the way it presents London gangland as a bunch of lovable clods who don't mean any harm but who take their jobs and their workers' rights very seriously. Pearly is one of Sellers' greatest creations, who tries to encourage professionalism amongst his men (he's showing Rififi, The Day They Robbed The Bank of England and The League of Gentlemen as "training" films) and there's a wonderful sequence where he chairs a villains' union meeting, complete with agenda, motions and procedural points of order ("The Chair recognises the bird on the front row."). The real star for me though is the wonderful Cribbins as befuddled, eye-twitching Nervous, complete with brothel creepers, pork pie hat and too-small suit, chastising both his men and his kleptomaniac nephew Kevin ("Ya teeving little nit !"). Jeffries, saucy Newman and gifted Aussie actor Kerr are all terrific as well, and the whole shebang rattles along at a terrific pace with buckets of funny dialogue and inventively daft situations. Don't miss an unbilled cameo by Dennis Price, as Educated Earnest of Leamington Spa. Sadly, they really don't make them like this anymore.
  • I loved this when it was first released. 45 years later, it hasn't lost much of its charm. It boasts a great central idea, which develops into one of the most pleasurable, fast-moving loads of innocent nonsense I've seen in a long while. Peter Sellers is on good form, as are comedy co- horts, Bernard Cribbins, John Le Mesurier, Lionel Jeffries, Sam Kydd, and Dennis Price (as Educated Ernest)...even Nanette Newman does a good job. The dialogue is full of the sort of English dagginess made even more popular at the time by co-writers Galton & Simpson; it's great to hear people called 'nit' or 'berk' and the police referred to as the 'bogeys'. And it's not just nostalgia. Cliff Owen's direction seems to get the best out of everyone. Not all of it still works, but it won't detain you, and if you've a taste for British comedy of this era, it won't disappoint. There was a cheap VHS available a few years ago with inaudible sound. I saw the version broadcast by ABCTV in Australia - excellent quality.
  • "The Wrong Arm of the Law" is a sort of comic British take on the famous German crime film, "M". In that Fritz Lang classic, the criminals and the police are both out to stop a murderer whose activities are making things difficult for both of them. However, where "M" was a serious crime thriller, "The Wrong Arm of the Law" is pure comedy.

    And what a comedy it is, with a clever script and a first-rate cast, headed up by the superlative Peter Sellers. Known for the astounding range of the characters he could play, in this film Sellers slips effortlessly between portraying effete French couturier Charles Jules and cockney crime-boss "Pearly" Gates. In fact, Sellars slips between the two characters so effortlessly that it is easy to take for granted just how brilliant an actor he actually was. Sellers is an absolute treat to watch, and his performance should be required viewing by all aspiring actors as a lesson in how it should be done.
  • This isn't one of Peter Sellers' best films, though it still is worth a look. It's a crime spoof about a gang that dresses up like the police and robs the crooks once they've committed their jobs. This aspect of the film is okay, but what I really liked was how the police and organized crime worked together to stop this masquerading gang! They didn't seem to like how this gang upset the unwritten rules between the cops and the robbers so they combined resources to find and stop them! The best part of this was the role played by Lionel Jeffries as the Inspector. While he was a supporting actor in the film, his performance really overshadowed Sellers'. That isn't to say that Sellers did a bad job--he was wonderful as the criminal mastermind. But Jeffries played the stupid policeman so well that you couldn't help but look forward to when he was in the film.

    This is a decent movie with a very good ending, but the film falls far short of the wonderful and near-perfect Ealing crime comedies (THE LAVENDER HILL MOB and THE LADYKILLERS). About the only serious negatives are that there are some real lulls in the film--it just didn't sustain the humor throughout.
  • This is an absolutely hilarious comic crook caper, very much in the style of THE LAVENDER HILL MOB, THE Italian JOB and CROOKS & CORONETS. It's one of those stories where the crooks are pleasant people, with the traditional "honor amongst thieves" motto, who only steal from the very rich, and never actually cause anyone physical harm.

    (Slight spoiler warning)

    Then a new mob arrives in London Town from Australia (yes, the Aussies are the real villains in this - sob, sob); and don't play fairly. This affects the status quo, so the General Council of Crims and the Police Force join forces to stop them.

    With great comic stars like Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins (of "Right Said Fred" novelty song fame), Lionel Jeffries, and John Le Mesurier (most memorable as Wilson of the old UK comic series DAD'S ARMY); as well as great Aussie stars Ed Devereaux and a quite young Bill Kerr (who's really seedy in this), I was totally hooked. As it made my top 100, you could say I'm very fond of this uproarious effort.
  • PHASEDK11 January 2008
    Channel Four in the UK showed it this afternoon, and...I may have seen it years ago, but as I watched it.. wondered if it was an Ealing.Was the airfield Elstree.. didn't know. I was always a Sellers fan. Of course he was a performer, on TV chat shows as well as films. I strongly disagree he wasn't funny on TV chat shows. Parkinson was always good with him on. I want those shows on DVD, and am asking a friend in BBC archives, did they escape tape scrub? Hendrix on Lulu show was apparently one that survived as a technician checked it before scrub.. and made a phone call. So.. the film is an utter delight. Very silly of course, and yes, the 'going wrong' set up robbery near the end hilarious. I love these films as they still give a reminder, or an idea what life was like back then. If one can recognise locations, even better. My DVD collection is growing way too fast with these films being shown. Ronnie Corbet reminded us the other night when they made their TV shows.. they were never rushed. Rehearsed to perfection.. and it showed. Well,the old films still have charm and are a good reminder of life in those days. I didn't know Cliff was Mr. Bongo in Expresso Bongo! We need this escapism even more these days. New films with cgi are all very well.. but these comedies were straight up, almost reality.
  • 'Pearly' Gates passes himself of as a French clothes designer who sells to well of women of London but it reality he is very much a local and organises much of the crime in the city. It is a successful operation until one of his teams is stopped by the police... except they aren't the police; they are a group of Australian criminals who are impersonating police officers (hence there being dubbed the IPO gang') to steal from fellow crooks. Soon all of his jobs are being intercepted by them. It is clear that somebody must be tipping them but Pearly has no idea who. The IPO gang are bad for crooks; they are also bad for the police leading Inspector 'Nosey' Parker to agree to a temporary truce with other crooks in order to catch the gang... inevitably the best of plans go awry when put into practice.

    This film is clearly from another era; one where crooks, at least those in films, accepted they were caught when confronted by the police and had a code amongst themselves. That doesn't detract from the film though; if anything it adds to its charm. There are plenty of laughs to be had, both from the crooks and the police; especially when they are working together. Peter Sellers is on fine form as Pearly and Lionel Jeffries is equally impressive as the slightly pompous Inspector Parker. The humour pokes fun at both crooks, their union style meeting was very funny, and the police who can't afford to provide a working vehicle for the operation. Overall this is a fun comedy with no material that is likely to offend.
  • Over in Beaconsfield there was a West London rival in this British Lion presentation owing much to TV I'd guess in style with this amiable farce. There's perhaps nothing comedically side-splitting here, but countless chuckles, persistent quirkyness, and a massive shot in the arm for me watching now of a nostalgia for simpler times and easier laughs. Living in the Uxbridge area, I loved spotting the final robbery scene near a hump-backed bridge in Cowley, tracing the few elements that have survived half a century. The locations are gritty & soot-caked but the characterisations pure and sweet, like the police superintendent being tops, then Sellers' charming master criminal. The collision of the cops and crooks is very droll and the whole thing belts along at a fair clip. It doesn't really seem to matter by the end exactly what happens except to be assured a good time was had by all.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A Robert Velaise Production for Romulus Films. Not copyrighted in the U.S.A., but a Continental Distributing release. New York opening at the Coronet: 2 April 1963. U.K. release by British Lion: 21 April 1963. Australian release through British Empire Films: 3 October 1963. Sydney opening at the Lyceum. 8,503 feet. 94 minutes. Cut to 91 minutes in the U.S.A. (Available on an excellent ITV DVD).

    SYNOPSIS: To the upper-crust customers of his Bond Street dress salon, Monsieur Jules is suave, elegant and impeccable. But behind the plush front and the French accent, he is Pearly Gates, the Cockney kingpin of London's most efficient gang of thieves.

    NOTES: Number 16 at British ticket-windows for 1963.

    COMMENT: An extremely funny film, for which Penelope Houston (tough editor of Sight & Sound) has, oddly enough, little but praise — praise with which I am only three-quarters in accord. She commends Cliff Owen for his "agile timing". Personally, I found Owen's timing way off, and I was constantly aware that this very funny script would have been even funnier if the direction were more slick.

    It is typical of Owen's incompetence that he has allowed Richard Bennett to negate so much of the material with his pedestrian score, and even Miss Houston has to admit "the director doesn't make much of the (Battersea Funfair) setting."

    Fortunately, not even Owen's bumbling can overshadow the adroitness of his cast: The stars are in top form, and I was still laughing over John Le Mesurier's impersonation of a good humor man an hour after I'd left the theater. (Incidentally, his name is pronounced "Le" as in French, "Mess-a-ra" to rhyme with "ma" or "car").

    OTHER VIEWS: A slightweight cops and robbers idea has been pepped up into a briskly amusing farce thanks to a combo of deft direction, thesping and writing. — "Rich" in Variety.

    The latest lark for jolly good felons is "The Wrong Arm of the Law". . . And who should be leading the culprits in this assault on the risibilities, but Peter Sellers, who has a record as long as your arm. Mr. Sellers, you may remember, started his career in comical crime under the able instruction of Alec Guiness in "The Ladykillers". . . The snafu that occurs when the criminals and the cops combine their brains and their pretensions to technical know- how makes a wildly comic climax for this film. — Bosley Crowther in The N.Y. Times.
  • From memory this was pure '50s-style, knockabout London comedy. But seeing it afresh: OK, not quite as funny (very classy performances, though); unexpectedly good to look at, and really rather not-'50s. The direction's at times self-consciously modern, but, more tellingly - check out the costume design. Even plainclothed old bill were in knife-sharp Italian suits and shirts; skinny ties. For a film shot in '62 this was more than somewhat a swingin' number.

    A line had been crossed - we weren't post-war any more.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THE WRONG ARM OF THE LAW is an ensemble British comedy courtesy of writers Galton and Simpson, the duo most famously responsible for STEPTOE AND SON. It features Peter Sellers as the leader of a gang of robbers who are being driven to distraction by the arrival of some newcomers who have been dressing up as policemen in order to carry off their too-successful raids.

    This is a farcical black-and-white comedy in which everybody is a rival and even your own gang members can't be trusted. Sellers holds the thing together but the one who really shines here is Lionel Jeffries as the stuffy copper who becomes an unlikely ally during an uneasy alliance. The film is chock full of famous faces like Bernard Cribbins, Nanette Newman, John Le Mesurier, Arthur Mullard and Graham Stark, and they all seem to be having a good time. You will too.
  • robert-temple-121 February 2015
    This is a film based upon a clever idea, but despite throwing Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins, Arthur Mullard, and Lionel Jeffries at it, and despite having a script by Galton and Simpson and no less than five other writers tweaking the script, it is a failure. Surprisingly, Nanette Newman, whose purpose is unrelated to the comedy of the film, is the most effective performer, and manages some meaningful menace and allure. Cliff Owen directed. He was a pal of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson (two wonderful guys whom I knew well for a time) and directed their 1972 feature film of STEPTOE AND SON. The idea behind this film is that there is a gang of crooks in police uniforms who rob the crooks who have just done their own robberies. They get tip-offs from Nanette Newman. The real cops can't figure it out at all. So that is all very jolly. But someone needed to pull it off. No, I don't mean the heist, I mean the film. Peter Sellers is not funny at all. But then, he often wasn't. And so there you are.
  • ianlouisiana28 January 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    By Impersonating Police Officers a group of Australian criminals have devised a simple and effective method of removing the ill -gotten gains from the possession of our native villains.Should you be thinking that this is an unlikely and possibly even a racist notion you should be aware that for many years Britain was plagued by a highly -organised gang of Australian thieves who targeted high - end shops up and down the country from a base in deepest Earl's Court. An unholy Alliance of Old Bill and Hooky Boys led by the Met's finest Inspector "Nosey" Parker (thick as two short planks but dead straight) eventually bring the I.P.O.mob to book.On that simple premise a very funny film is constructed. At the time "The wrong arm of the law" was made co-operation for the mutual benefit of both sides was not unknown in the closed world of the London detective who may have been at school with many of the local heavies and thus have divided loyalties.Occasionally a smalltime offender would be called upon to "take a fall" and help square up the Crime Book so business could carry on as usual.Rather perversely some of the most "helpful" detectives were also some of the best thief - takers. There is no suggestion in this movie that the relationship between the police and the criminals is in any way corrupt either in general or in the specific.Indeed there is much mutual suspicion between the two camps veering on paranoia. Some of the characters seem to have been lifted wholesale from "Two - way Stretch",others are familiar from half a hundred crime capers from the 1950s and earlier,but it is this very familiarity that gives "The wrong arm of the law" its charm.In a part that could have bewen written by Galton and Simpson for Tony Hancock, Mr P. Sellers gives us a "Peter Sellers" performance which may be taken either as a warning or a recommendation depending on your taste. For me Mr.L.Jeffries as "Nosey" Parker and Mr B,Cribbins as "Nervous" O'Toole quietly walk away with the film. In those halcyon days when seat belts were for wimps Mr Cribbins gets one of the biggest laughs of the night when he gets into the back seat of his huge Rolls and gingerly straps himself in. There is a great deal of fun to had in this good - natured British comedy which should amuse many and offend none.I wholeheartedly recommend it.
  • This is a perfect example of the cliche ridden films British studios turned out for domestic markets. The story line is ludicrous and every actor was one of the regulars of the day. It's films like this that made the rest of the world think the British are xenophobes. Watch it for the scene of uncluttered roads and intersting 50/60's cars.
  • Put on the kettle and settle back for a very British cat n mouse, extravaganza. Peter Sellers is fantastic, as Pearly Gates. As well as, so many other familiar faces. ie..General Pots from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the whole lot from The Italian Job. Tail end chase scene worth the entire price of admission. Cheerio
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The various established gangs making up the criminal underworld have to compete with an annoying newcomer : an uppity little band of thieves and robbers impersonating the police. Meanwhile the police aren't all that happy either, realizing that the idea of "officers" creeping through half-open windows or speeding away with bags of swag is unlikely to strengthen public confidence. Many an alliance has been built on weaker grounds...

    A pleasantly watchable black-and-white comedy with a prize cast, a number of amusing episodes and a hilarious ending. (Be sure to watch the reunion of the various criminals of Great-Britain, in which everybody behaves with the kind of procedural decorum associated with the more polite kind of trade union meeting. Also pretty funny : Peter Sellers, in his daytime persona of fashion designer, advertising his frocks with a pseudo-French accent.)

    Time, however, has not been entirely kind to the movie, in the sense that the material must have seemed edgier and funnier anno 1963 than it does nowadays. These days even the most sheltered of viewers realize that the border between criminals and police is not absolute and inviolable, meaning that the idea of a possible collaboration is unlikely to make people crow with glee...
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