The Wrong Arm of the Law
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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.
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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. I should not forget the lovely Nanette Newman--her role turns out to be more important than mere "eye candy" !
The black and white picture is excellent for a forty year old film--the sound is mono. This is a "no frills" DVD--there are no extras. This movie is fun all the way--if you are a Sellers fan, or a fan of classic British comedy in general, ask our friends at Amazon for a copy. You won't be sorry !
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."
A "must-see" at the next Lionel Jeffries Film Festival.