Sunday, November 22, 2009

1966 - THE WRONG BOX a Robert Lewis Stevenson comedy

This is a funny British comedy based on a novel by Robert Lewis Stevenson an author not exactly known for his comedy writing.  The screenplay was co-written by Larry Gelbart a talented guy who had been a joke writer for Bob Hope and  created the TV series,  MASH.  Gelbart was a very American writer.

The Wrong Box has an outstanding cast of British actors beginning with Ralph Richardson and John Mills as 2 ancient brothers trying to outlive each other so they can inherit a "tontine," a personal lottery.   They are surrounded by family members with various degrees of crookedness and intelligence who include Michael Caine, Dudley Moore, Nanette Newman and Peter Cook.

There are also  hilarious performances by Peter Sellers as a crazy cat loving doctor and Wilfrid Lawson as the very out of it family butler who hasn't been paid in 7 years.

The film was directed by Bryan Forbes a British screenwriter who had worked for and had been a friend of macho Warner Brothers action director Raoul Walsh.  Walsh supposedly got Forbes drunk and put him on a boat back to England after he told Forbes he had no business getting mixed up in Hollywood. 

Not much more to say except this is a classic and funny British farce.

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