The Wrong Box

Overview

Years before the story proper in The Wrong Box gets under way, a "tontine" is drawn up on behalf several young British boys. Each of the boys' parents had placed 1000 pounds in a pool, to be invested and expanded upon. The resultant fortune will go to the last surving member of the tontine. A series of montages depicts the various demises of the heirs our favorite occurs when one of them is inadvertently beheaded while being knighted by Queen Victoria. Finally, only two of the tontine participants are left: aged ...
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Overview

Years before the story proper in The Wrong Box gets under way, a "tontine" is drawn up on behalf several young British boys. Each of the boys' parents had placed 1000 pounds in a pool, to be invested and expanded upon. The resultant fortune will go to the last surving member of the tontine. A series of montages depicts the various demises of the heirs our favorite occurs when one of them is inadvertently beheaded while being knighted by Queen Victoria. Finally, only two of the tontine participants are left: aged brothers Ralph Richardson and John Mills. On his last legs, Mills is determined that Richardson will not outlive him, and to that end attempts to kill his brother; each attempt fails spectacularly, with the doddering Richardson none the wiser. Standing to benefit from the tontine are Mills' dimwitted med-student son Michael Caine and Richardson's greedy nephews Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. When Richardson is supposedly killed in a train wreck, Cook and Moore don't want the authorities to find out, so they appropriate what they think is their uncle's corpse and ship it home in a box. Thus it is that Caine finds the body of a perfect stranger on his doorstep. The farcical complications begin flying about thick and fast from this point onward. Among the participants in this wacky gigglefest are such formidable talents as Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Wilfred Lawson, Thorley Walters, Norman Rossington, Irene Handl and Cicely Courtenedge. Based on a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Wrong Box is a delightful harkback to the glory days of Britain's Ealing comedies. We were so wrapped up in the story that we didn't even notice all those TV antennae sprouting up on the rooftops of Victorian London.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A film which has developed a considerable cult following over the years, The Wrong Box is a black British comedy that combines Ealing Studio subtlety with a 1960's era cynicism and detachment, all in the re-telling of a Victorian-era story from Robert Louis Stevenson. This curious mélange works remarkably well, although it comes with an odd sensibility, the appeal of which will escape some viewers. The excellent cast is a huge asset; in an ensemble in which all roles are well played, special kudos go to Ralph Richardson, Peter Cook, Michael Caine and Peter Sellers. Richardson, constantly spouting useless trivia, is hilarious, and Cook's hypocritical, larcenous and venal nephew is a portrait to treasure. Some may find Caine too gentle and dim witted, but the film and the role call for a bit of exaggeration. And Sellers' cameo is a priceless piece of comic acting. Director Bryan Forbes gives the film an appropriately quirky feel, and he handles the climactic chase with flair. By turns wacky and weird, Wrong Box is a welcome alternative to standard issue film comedies.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/2010
  • UPC: 043396368422
  • Original Release: 1966
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures Home
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,129

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Mills Masterman Finsbury
Ralph Richardson Joseph Finsbury
Michael Caine Michael Finsbury
Peter Cook Morris Finsbury
Dudley Moore John Finsbury
Nanette Newman Julia Finsbury
Peter Sellers Dr. Pratt
Tony Hancock Detective
Wilfred Lawson Peacock
Thorley Walters Lawyer Patience
Dame Cicely Courtneidge Maj. Martha
Irene Handl Mrs. Hackett
Gerald Sim 1st Undertaker
John Le Mesurier Dr. Slattery
Norman Bird Clergyman
Tutte Lemkow Bournemouth Strangler
Vanda Godsell Mrs. Goodge
Peter Graves Military Officer on Train
Norman Rossington 1st Rough
Nicholas Parsons Alan Fraser Scrope
Avis Bunnage Queen Victoria
Penny Brahms
Denis Cowles Sotheby's Partner
John Fitch
Maria Kazan Twittering Female on Moors
Andre Morell Club Butler
John Morris
John Parker
Charlie Bird Bonn's Vanman
Joseph Behrman Vanman's Mate
Michael Bird Countryman
Martin Terry 2nd Stoker
George Spence Workman in Road
Jeremy Lloyd Brian Allen Harvey
James Villiers Sydney Whitcombe Sykes
Graham Stark Ian Scott Fife
Dick Gregory Leicester Young Fielding
Willoughby Goddard James White Wragg
Valentine Dyall Oliver Pike Harmsworth
Hamilton Dyce Derek Lloyd Peter Digby
Leonard Rossiter Vyvyan Alastair Montague
Hilton Edwards Lawyer
Timothy Bateson Clerk
Totti Truman Taylor Lady at Launching
Frank Singuineau Native Bearer
Michael Lees Young Digby
Gwendolyn Watts Maid
Marianne Stone Spinster on Train
John Junkin 1st Engine Driver
Donald Tandy Ticket Collector
Lionel Gamlin 2nd Engine Driver
George Selway Railway Vanman
Thomas Gallagher 2nd Rough
Diane Clare Mercy
Tony Thawnton 2nd Undertaker
Reg Lye 3rd Undertaker
Technical Credits
Bryan Forbes Director, Producer
John Barry Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Larry Gelbart Screenwriter
Julie Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Basil Newall Makeup
Alan Osbigton Editor
Peter James Set Decoration/Design
Paul Rabiger Makeup
Ray Simm Art Director
Gerry Turpin Cinematographer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2002

    Funniest Brit Flick You've Never Seen

    This is a cult classic--a slew of British theatre greats, an exquisite young Michael Caine, a paralyzingly funny cameo by Peter Sellars and some hapless kittens, and a priceless plot. Think ''Noises Off'' meets ''Monty Python'' and you might come somewhere close. Worth owning, 'cause it gets funnier with each watching.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews