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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 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?
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on 12 July 2003
To see this film is to see into a vanished world of loveable rogues, dodgy geezers and thwarted authority. An incredible robbery is planned and carried through with perfect precision....
bearing in mind that this movie is British and over 40 years old the outcome is inevitable but carries with it a superb twist ending.
Peter Sellers as Dodger Lane has the air of criminality about him; despite this being a caper film, Dodger has an undercurrent of menace and you wouldn't want to cross him. Loveable rogue he is not.
Buy this movie; it is a record of Sellers playing the type of British low life he would soon abandon for Gallic incompetence as Clouseau. It is also a movie of a type none could ever try to make again, as British as afternoon tea and equally as welcome.
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on 10 April 2013
Yet another British comedy gem from the early 60's, starring Peter Sellers.
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.
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on 8 March 2006
I can quite honestly say that this and The Wrong Arm of the Law are my favourite Sellers movies with Strangelove, Mouse that Roared and I'm Alright Jack not far behind. The comedy is excellent and it's so much better than anything that comes out now.

Single lines such as "stand by your plants!" just provoke chuckling if not outright laughter and from start to finish this film entertains and that includes the ending.

I also rate Lionel Jefferies in this movie as in Wrong Arm, he is just as good.
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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2008
This has to be one of my favourite comedies even though I only first saw this film in the early 90s. Peter Sellers is in top form as a gang-leader planning and executing another robbery while doing a spot of bird. Bernard Cribbins, Lionel Jeffries and Beryl Reid co-star. It was made at the tail-end of the golden age of British cinema when they really knew how to make films that would last, despite being in black and white. Does anyone think many of todays movies will be enjoyed in 50 years?
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on 5 June 2003
Upon seeing this film, I guarantee any viewer will instinctively select to play again immeadiatley. This is Sellers delivering a wonderful and classically British performance. Also be on the look for a fantastic display from a young Bernard Cribbins. Scenes to watch for especially are those involving a Wooden Horse, a Drain Escape, and the Fantastic Train climax. My opinion is that such a classic comic caper should no longer remain anonymous to this new generation. This film has everything that a great prison comedy should, and I have my suspicions that upon watching this you may get the impression that without such a wonderful stroyline and comic delivary, a certain Porridge series may have never been such a success. In two words; inspiring and delightful.
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on 5 August 2016
One of the greats. British film making at its best, with an unbeatable cast, including Bernard Cribbins and Peter Sellers. This is one of the films that defined the comedy-crime genre, and it does so superbly.
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Two-Way Stretch is the one where Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins and David Lodge break out of prison to commit a robbery, then break back in to provide themselves with the perfect alibi. Unfortunately, their plan and their luxury regime in prison is disrupted by sadistic new chief warder Lionel Jeffries, whose arrival inspires a reel or so of sendups of classic P.O.W. movies such as The Wooden Horse (with Jeffries ending up falling through the tunnel) and Danger Within (with Cribbins literally up faeces creek without a paddle).

The comic highlights may be the prison visitors sequence, with Liz Fraser's stocking tops providing ample diversion for assorted relatives to slip through sacks full of contraband to the inmates, and Beryl Reid's Ladies' League of Prison Reform inspection of the prison's rehabilitation classes, where plant pots hide dice and woodwork cabinets double as props for demonstrations of safe-cracking (straight out of Sergeant Bilko), but the film manages consistently funny throughout, a rarity for the star. Indeed, the film is so good-natured that it's a surprise to find mention of 'n**-n**s' in the script (this was 1962, after all).

With a great cast filled with familiar faces, the undisputed star of the show is Wilbur the carrier pigeon and his unique way of delivering messages. Sadly the print is rather flat and soft. No extras either.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2005
Brilliant black and white Peter Sellers film from 1960. For Liz Fraser fans it's a must. Liz plays the girlfriend of Sellers. She has plenty of great scenes throughout including the famous one where she and Irene Handl visit Sellers in prison.In order to distract the prison guards so Handl can supply the prisoners with contraband,Liz pretends she has a problem with her suspenders,having to hitch up her skirt to fix it. Needless to say,the sight of Liz flashing those great legs does the trick. Liz looks beautiful in it,but it's a great film even if you're not a Liz Fraser fan.
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on 20 June 2014
This would probably feature in my top ten funny films. A real classic with Peter Sellers at his best.
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 .
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