The Wrong Box
|The Wrong Box|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bryan Forbes|
|Produced by||Bryan Forbes
|Written by||Larry Gelbart
|Music by||John Barry|
|Edited by||Alan Osbiston|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||27 May 1966|
|Running time||107 minutes|
The Wrong Box (1966) is a British comedy film made by Salamander Film Productions and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was produced and directed by Bryan Forbes from a screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Burt Shevelove, based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne.
The cast includes a number of Britain's leading actors and comic actors of the time, including John Mills, Ralph Richardson, Michael Caine, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, Irene Handl and Tony Hancock.
Two elderly brothers Masterman (John Mills) and Joseph Finsbury (Ralph Richardson) are the surviving members of a tontine, an investment scheme set up many years before, in which the last member stands to receive a fortune. Masterman is attended by his medical student grandson, Michael (Michael Caine), while his greedy cousins Morris (Peter Cook) and John (Dudley Moore) do their best to keep their annoying uncle Joseph alive. Masterman, who hasn't talked to his despised brother in many years, summons Joseph to his "deathbed", intending to kill him so that Michael can get the money.
On the train trip to London, Joseph escapes from his minders, entering a compartment and boring the sole occupant with a litany of trivial facts (something he does with everyone he encounters). The other man later turns out to be the "Bournemouth Strangler". Joseph later leaves to smoke a cigarette leaving his coat behind, which the strangler puts on. The train then crashes head-on into another one coming the other way. In the confusion, Morris and John find the stranger's mutilated body and mistakenly believe it is that of their uncle.
Morris decides to try to hide this long enough for Masterman to pass away. Morris and John put the body in a barrel and have it shipped to their London home, next door to Masterman's residence. However, it is delivered to the Masterman house. Joseph makes his way to London on his own and visits his brother; they quarrel.
Meanwhile, Michael meets and falls in love with Joseph's ward, Julia (Nanette Newman). Things become complicated when Michael discovers the contents of the barrel and, after learning of the dispute between Masterman and Joseph from family butler Peacock (Wilfrid Lawson), assumes that his grandfather has killed his brother. Various misunderstandings and antics result.
- John Mills as Masterman Finsbury
- Ralph Richardson as Joseph Finsbury
- Michael Caine as Michael Finsbury
- Peter Cook as Morris Finsbury
- Dudley Moore as John Finsbury
- Nanette Newman as Julia Finsbury
- Peter Sellers as Dr. Pratt
- Tony Hancock as Detective
- Wilfrid Lawson as Peacock
- Thorley Walters as Lawyer Patience
- Cicely Courtneidge as Major Martha
- Diane Clare as Mercy
- Gerald Sim as First Undertaker
- Irene Handl as Mrs. Hackett
- John Le Mesurier as Dr. Slattery
Pinewood Studios, Iver, Buckinghamshire, was the main production base for the studio sets and many exteriors, with the Victorian London crescent exteriors being shot on Bath's historic Royal Crescent, complete with TV aerials on the roofs. The funeral coach and horse chase was filmed in St James Square, Bath, and on Englefield Green, Surrey, and surrounding lanes.