Two Way Stretch
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In Huntleigh prison, a group of cell mates (Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins and David Lodge) plan the perfect burglary. By escaping the day before their release, then breaking back in again, they will have the perfect alibi when they rob a maharajah's palace of its diamonds - they will seemingly never have left their cell.
A great British crime comedy always worth another watch, Two Way Stretch is the one about the cosily imprisoned crooks who hatch a scheme to pull off a heist with a perfect alibi by breaking out of their nick, doing the job and then breaking back into the jug again to serve out their sentences. Peter Sellers, usually an eccentric support in these things, takes a rare lead as cocky mastermind Dodger Lane, confident enough to share the screen with performers who would be doing serious time if scene-stealing were an actual offence. The chief delight of the film, obvious inspiration for Blakey from On the Buses, is Lionel Jeffries' bristling, infuriated, hilariously humiliated warder Sidney Crout, forever fuming as Dodger gets away with some new scheme. Also in on the scam: Wilfrid Hyde White as a bogus clergyman of extreme unctuousness, David Lodge as the dim-witted muscle bloke, and Bernard Cribbins in the nice young man part.
The wayward plot finds room for cameos from such national institutions as Beryl Reid, Irene Handl and Liz Fraser. Director Robert Day, probably best known for the Hammer version of She, is nobody's idea of an auteur, but he puts this pacey little gem together perfectly. The British cinema has been turning out an unheralded series of wonderful caper comedies for decades, from The Lavender Hill Mob through A Fish Called Wanda to The Parole Officer; this effort--along with the follow-up The Wrong Arm of the Law--ranks among the best.
On the DVD: Two Way Stretch comes to disc in a nice print. The film is also available as part of the four-disc Peter Sellers Collection.--Kim Newman
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While serving a prison sentence, Dodger, played by Sellers, hatches a plan for the perfect robbery: To break out of prison, and steal a fortune in diamonds, and then break back in. Aided by his two cohorts, played by Bernard Cribbins and David Lodge, they set about planning their 'perfect' robbery, aided on the 'outside' by Soapy Stevens, played by Wilfred Hyde-White.
Initially on DVD, then deleted for years, this is now available again.
If you are into these classic comedy films from the 50's and 60's, or you are a Peter Sellers fan, you are in for a treat. You simply cannot afford to miss this one.
Buy it while it's still available.
Picture Quality is good, and the transfer is in it's original aspect ratio of 1.66:1.
Pure magic, highly recommended.
You can't help thinking now how this could almost be a blue print for "Porridge". Wonderful cast - special mention for Lionel Jeffries who for me steals every scene he is in. Especially like the scene where the ladies are looking at Prison Govenor Maurice Denham's potentially prize winning Marrow; how did they get away with that! Another honourable mention for David Lodge & Bernard Cribbins - ex-Parachute regiment before he became one of our best living actors. I've also recently purchased "The wrong Arm of The Law" - another gem.
The supporting cast are spot on too. I was surprised how much " Porridge " borrowed from this, including
One of the actors. The ending does suggest there could have been a sequel. Of course if you like Peter as
A tea leaf ,there's always "the wrong arm of the law "to check out. Definitely would recommend .