- Actors: Anton Rodgers, Eric Sykes, Charlotte Rampling, Ian Bannen, Kenneth Griffith
- Directors: John Boulting
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Network
- DVD Release Date: 19 May 2014
- Run Time: 86 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00I0BNG16
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,639 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Rotten to the Core [DVD]
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A riotously funny crime caper in the classic tradition of Two-Way Stretch and The Lavender Hill Mob, Rotten to the Core boasts a top-notch cast with early roles for Anton Rodgers and Charlotte Rampling; produced, directed and co-scripted by the legendary Boulting brothers, this rare comedy gem earned a BAFTA Award nomination in 1966 for art director Alex Vetchinsky. Rotten to the Core is presented here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements, in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.
Lenny, Jelly and Scapa are the three loyal henchmen of "The Duke". After 18 months in jail they are eager to rejoin their leader... and even more eager to receive a share of the stash that sent them there. Having been told that the Duke has died and all the money was spent on hospital bills, they eventually meet up with their boss again; however, they find that his methods have become far more sophisticated, and before long they're involved in an elaborate plan to carry out a daringly audacious heist.
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Top customer reviews
Turn the sound off or fast forward through the opening titles to avoid one of the absolute worst theme songs of all time. After that, the film chugs along at a nice pace with no real surprises and producing lots of smiles rather than belly laughs. The movie was, of course, filmed in black and white which will no doubt disappoint younger viewers but comedies such as this would actually have suffered from being made in colour. There was an old Hollywood maxim about colour slowing down comedies and they were right.
The picture and sound are sharp and clean and the film is presented in a widescreen ratio. As usual with Network releases, there are no subtitles or extras and the DVD comes in a slimline box. If nothing else, Rotten to the Core is an enjoyable diversion for a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Once you get the thought into your head that this was to be a follow-on of sorts from 'Two-Way Stretch' and 'The Wrong Arm Of The Law' (and there are enough indications; 'Jelly Knight' was one of Sellers' stooges in 'Two-Way Stretch', for example), it's nigh-impossible to shake out the idea of Peter Sellers in the Anton Rodgers role and Lionel Jeffries taking Ian Bannen's. Consequently, no matter how good Rodgers and Bannen play their characters, one is constantly wondering how Sellers and Jeffries would have interpreted them - and this mind game is extremely distracting!
Despite the presence of great comedy character actors - Thorley Walters and Kenneth Griffith are always quality performers, Avis Bunnage is pretty fab and Eric Sykes steals every scene - the script is sorely lacking in character, comic invention, wit and pace. The Boulting Brothers' satiric claws - so sharp in 'I'm All Right, Jack' and 'Heaven's Above' - are here blunt and ineffectual, I'm sorry to report.
It's a pleasant 90 minutes - something to help pass a rainy afternoon - but no more than that.