Monday, December 03, 2007

"The Wrong Box"

Director: Bryan Forbes 1966
Inspired by the premise of a story by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne (RLS's stepson), Larry Gelbart and Burt Shevelove successfully turned a Victorian adventure into a Victorian farce, crammed with mistaken identities, colorful characters and lots of laughs (no surprise since the two had previously collaborated on "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum"). John Mills and Ralph Richardson steal the movie, no easy task since others in the cast include Michael Caine, Dudley Moore and Peter Cooke. Richardson is brilliant as the most boring man in the UK, a pedant who speaks nothing but facts ("The word 'whip' appears in the Bible 172 times!"). The crazy plot involves a tontine, a kind of lottery. Lovely score by John Barry. Sadly, not available on DVD but does pop up on TCM from time to time. TiVo if it does.


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