Loot (1970 film)

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Loot FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed bySilvio Narizzano
Screenplay byRay Galton
Alan Simpson
Based onLoot
by Joe Orton
Produced byArthur Lewis
StarringRichard Attenborough
Lee Remick
Hywel Bennett
Milo O'Shea
Roy Holder
CinematographyAustin Dempster
Edited byMartin Charles
Music byKeith Mansfield and Richard (Willing-Denton) later known as Richard Denton
Performing Arts
Distributed byBritish Lion Film Corporation
Release date
  • 31 December 1970 (1970-12-31)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Loot is a 1970 British comedy film directed by Silvio Narizzano. It is based on the play of the same name by Joe Orton and stars Richard Attenborough, Lee Remick, Hywel Bennett, Milo O'Shea and Roy Holder.[1] It was entered into the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.[2]


The setting is a seaside hotel owned by a Mr. McLeavy in the 1960s in England. The owner’s son, Hal (Roy Holder), and Hal's boyfriend, Dennis (Hywel Bennett), rob a bank located next to the funeral parlour where Dennis works. They hide the money in the coffin of Hal’s mother, who has just died and whose body has been returned to the hotel prior to its final burial.

Inspector Truscott (Richard Attenborough) investigates the bank robbery and immediately suspects Hal and Dennis. Meanwhile, Mr. McLeavy (Milo O'Shea) is being aggressively courted by Fay McMahon (Lee Remick), the nurse who cared for Hal’s ailing mother in her last weeks of life. Fay is having an affair with Dennis, but she has no real interest in him until he tells her he has come into money. Inspector Truscott also has a particular interest in Nurse McMahon, he is sure she murdered several of her former husbands, and also thinks she poisoned Hal's mother.

Truscott's investigations, and Dennis and Hal’s ongoing measures to get away with the proceeds of the bank robbery, make up the action in Loot.



In The Daily Telegraph in 2017, Tim Robey wrote "it retains something of the spirit of 1960s caper movies, such as Gambit (1966) and The Italian Job (1969). The queer sensibility of the play – censored for blasphemy and gay references in its time – is tentatively rather than fully explored – Georgy Girl director Silvio Narizzano opted to play it all for broad, primary-coloured farce."[3]

According to the screenwriters seeking to turn the play into a film (Ray Galton and Alan Simpson), in 2012 Orton's agent Peggy Ramsay was complimentary, "... even she couldn't tell where he'd finished and where we started. But it's not a great film, unfortunately". Part of this was because, to the writers' regret, Narizzano directed the actors to perform "in an over-the-top style, and it doesn't work".[4]


  1. ^ Variety film review; 31 January 1971, page 24.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Loot". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  3. ^ Robey, Tim (18 August 2017). "Joe Orton's cheeky wink to Sixties cinema". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  4. ^ Galton, Ray; Simpsom, Alan (22 January 2012). "Hancock's half-finished: how Galton and Simpson revived their lost movie". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2020.

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