Otley (film)

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Directed by Dick Clement
Written by Dick Clement
Starring Tom Courtenay
Romy Schneider
Music by Stanley Myers
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
March 11, 1969
Country United States
Language English

Otley is a 1968 American comedy thriller film. Film critic Judith Crist described it as "a bright, breezy, light-handed but never lightheaded spies-and-counterspies story."[1]


Tom Courtenay plays Gerald Arthur "Gerry" Otley, a charming but feckless young drifter who scrapes a living from selling antiques in trendy 1960s London. Gerry's responsibility-free life suddenly takes a serious turn, when he finds himself caught up in a round of murder, espionage and quadruple crossing. He is himself mistaken for a spy; is kidnapped and detained several times; and becomes romantically involved with a foreign agent (Romy Schneider) working for British Intelliegence.

The exterior action takes place in a number of recognisable London locations: the area around Portobello Rd street market in Notting Hill; a houseboat colony near Cheyne Walk in Chelsea; the 1957 Bowater House at Knightsbridge; the Playboy in Park Lane; and the old Unilever Milk depot in Wood Lane, W12. A wide range of period British vehicles is featured: Otley drives an E-Type Jaguar, a Ford Anglia and an early 1960s passenger coach, and his disastrous driving test, which turns into an epic car chase, involves a driving-school Vauxhall Viva and a Ford Zephyr.

The film, whose interiors were shot at Shepperton Studios, marked the directorial debut of Dick Clement. He and Ian La Frenais, famous as a team for their television writing in "The Likely Lads" and "Porridge", based their screenplay on a book by Martin Waddell. It was released by Columbia Pictures.



  1. ^ Crist, Judith. This Week's Movies. TV Guide, North Carolina Edition, 9–15 December 1972, pg A-4

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