Convict 99

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For the silent film starring Daisy Burrell and Wee Georgie Wood, see Convict 99 (1919 film).
Convict 99
Convict 99.jpg
Directed by Marcel Varnel
Produced by Edward Black
Written by Cyril Campion
Jack Davis Jr
Marriott Edgar
Val Guest
Ralph Smart
Starring Will Hay
Graham Moffatt
Moore Marriott
Googie Withers
Cinematography Arthur Crabtree
Edited by R.E. Dearing
Distributed by Gainsborough Pictures
Release dates
26 September 1938
Running time
91 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Convict 99 is a 1938 British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring British comedian Will Hay and Googie Withers.


Incompetent Dr Benjamin Twist (Will Hay) is dismissed from his job as headmaster at St. Michaels' School (the school returns in a later film The Ghost of St. Michael's), and applies for a job in another school.

Going for interview, he is called into another office where they are expecting John Benjamin, a strict prison governor recently arrived from Australia who is applying for the vacancy at Blakedown Prison in Devon. On the way to what Twist believes is the school, he becomes drunk, and on arrival is mistaken for Max Slessor, a prisoner who had escaped during a jailbreak.

Designated Convict 99 and in for seven years for forgery, Twist is soon discovered to be the new Prison Governor, and once put in his (dubiously) rightful place embarks on a programme to make the prison a more friendly place for the prisoners, funding it from the proceeds of a football pools win and stock market investments.

Things take a turn for the worse, when the recaptured Slessor, aided by a phoney baroness who accuses Twist of attempted rape, escapes again with a signed cheque. Altering the figures, he draws the entire prison funds from the bank. Twist and some of the convicts head in a prison van to Limehouse, in east London, to catch Slessor, recover the lost funds and then successfully break into the bank in the middle of the night to return the money.


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