Top positive review
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One Of The Funniest Films That I Have Been Priviledged To See
on 20 March 2007
This really very funny film was the obvious inspiration for the creation of Porridge it is so similar in many ways.
A cocky prisoner in the form of Dodger Lane, played by Peter Sellers is the forerunner to Norman Stanley Fletcher, a young thief Lennie, portrayed by Bernard Cribbins is of course Lennie Godber, they even share the same christian name and Jelly Knight is the equivelant of the various other characters such as Bunny Warren and Jock McClaran. Not forgetting of course Prison Officer Sidney Crout who is a dead ringer for the character of Mr Mackay.
A section of the film is even virtually identical to the ending of the Porridge film years later in that a group of prisoners find themselves on the outside and have to break back into jail.
Throw in Wilfred Hyde-White as the wonderfully named Soapy Stevens, organise a diamond raid while having the perfect alibi of being inside and just having one misshap after another and you have got the makings of a classic British film from a classic era.
The first time that I saw this was in 1996 via a Channel 4 transmission, my daughter had just been born and was playing up, I'd been up all night and was tired and was falling asleep when this film came on, not only did it wake me up but had me rolling on the floor in laughter, it cheered me up no end and I've never forgotten the effect that it had on me, I tracked down the video the very next day and was delighted when this DVD version appeared a few years later with vastly improved picture and sound.
The film is part of the legendary Ealing Comedy Classics and the success of this for me was the inspiration on my part to check out various others, there are some really decent ones but non are in the same league as Two Way Stretch, it is quite simply one of the funniest film that I have ever been privileged to see, and judging from my fellow reviewers maximum marks it seems as though many people think the same thing and we all can't be wrong, can we?