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The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963)

Peter Sellers , Lionel Jeffries , Cliff Owen  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Sellers, Lionel Jeffries, Bernard Cribbins, Davy Kaye, Nanette Newman
  • Directors: Cliff Owen
  • Writers: Alan Simpson, Ivor Jay, John Antrobus, John Warren, Len Heath
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: SHANACHIE
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00012FWZU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,574 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Wrong Arm of the Law" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In this hilarious crime comedy, Peter Sellers stars as Pearly Gates, the cockney kingpin of London's most efficient gang of thieves, organizing spectacular robberies from behind the front of a haute-coutrre dress salon. Everything goes well until the police start appearing after every job to confiscate the loot. The astute Pearly realizes there's a traitor in his gan, and no one is above suspicion - not even his enticing girlfriend Valerie.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling English Comedy March 18, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"The Wrong Arm of the Law" is one of the last British comedies from a period that many consider to be a "golden age" for the genre. It gave Peter Sellers another wonderful role as Cockney gang-leader, Pearly Gates, who often masquerades as "Monsieur Jules", haute couturier to rich and very gullible ladies. Of course, Pearly's real career is organizing robberies for his gang, none of whom seem to have the IQ of a potato ! Lately, however, Pearly and other London-area crooks are having a problem--they successfully pull off a heist, only to be ambushed by a trio of "policemen" who are more interested in the stolen goods than making arrests. Of course, these "bobbies" are crooks themselves.
It takes a while for Pearly and the other gang leaders to figure out what's going on, not to mention an embarrassed Scotland Yard, who put scene-stealing Lionel Jeffries on the case. Sellers and Jeffries decide to declare a "truce", and agree to cooperate in trying to catch these interlopers. Is nothing sacred ? Can a thief not make a dishonest living any more ? Can the police not trust a "man in uniform" ?
The film is blessed with a witty script and many amusing sequences. Other British character actors add to the fun. Bernard Cribbins is "Nervous", another gang leader. Can you imagine a less-likely gangster than Mr. Cribbins ? No--that's what makes him so hilarious. John LeMesurier is on hand as Scotland Yard's incredulous chief, unsure as to whether Sellers or Jeffries pose the greater threat to London ! Look out for the scene where all the crooks have a "union meeting" to become organized--that's Dennis Price in a wonderful cameo as "Educated", the intellectual crook.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sellers in Quintessence December 11, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Sellers seems to relish playing underworld kingpin Pearly Gates (pure Cockney) and his "legit" alter ego Mssr. Jules (a pre-Clouseau Frenchman). Strong support from Lionel Jeffries (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and Bernard Cribbins (a fussy Fawlty Towers guest) as rival gangs unite with the coppers to catch a new group that's muscling in on everyone's territory. They don't make 'em like this any more, sadly. Highly recommended!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Peter Sellers January 22, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I have often felt that Peter Sellers is best seen when playing in the company of these supporting players. I think they inspire each other. Bernie Cribbins is hilarious. Sellers is great and unselfconscious. All of the members of the cast are great in this movie - even if they only have a line or two. It is a true ensemble effort and completely enjoyable from beginning to end. In my opinion, people have not seen Lionel Jeffreys unless they have seen him in this and "Two Way Stretch." (Another collaboration with Peter Sellers and members of this ensemble cast.) True comedy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arm and a leg for few laughs March 10, 2007
With the late great legendary comedian Peter Sellers receiving top billing, I patiently endured three quarters of WRONG ARM OF THE LAW. To the point of embarassment, the Australian IPO gang repeatedly intercepts loot from established British criminals. Is there supposed to be an irony to being fooled more than a half dozen times by the same routine? During the last quarter of the movie there is a not-quite redeeming sting operation devolving to a comedy of errors.

Mob boss Pearly Gates (Sellers) adeptly demonstrates his flair for British and French accents -- even providing humorous inspiration for Martin Short's later role as Franck in FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1991). But primarily, Sellers portrays an eloquent organizer -- significantly more refined than Inspector Clouseau in THE PINK PANTHER. If you are interested in seeing criminals make light of the "Bobbies" don't part with more than five bucks or you've been robbed.

Movie quote: "These are some of the finest pieces to be found in London." "Well, then I shall have to go to Paris."
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sellars at his best! November 26, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
One of the great Ealing comedies. Sellars is brilliant
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