The Wrong Arm of the Law
|The Wrong Arm of the Law|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Cliff Owen|
|Produced by||E.M. Smedley Aston|
|Written by||John Antrobus|
John Le Mesurier
|Music by||Richard Rodney Bennett|
|Edited by||Tristam Cones|
|Distributed by||British Lion Films (UK)|
The Wrong Arm of the Law is a 1963 British comedy film directed by Cliff Owen and starring Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins, Lionel Jeffries, John Le Mesurier and Bill Kerr. It was written in part by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and made by Romulus Films.
In London, a gang of criminals from Australia led by Jack Coombes (Bill Kerr) impersonate policemen to carry out robberies. Local gang leader "Pearly" Gates (Sellers), who operates from the cover of a French couturier, finds his takings cut severely, and blames rival crook "Nervous" O'Toole (Bernard Cribbins). When it emerges that they are both being scammed by the same gang, they join forces, along with Lionel Jeffries' Police Inspector "Nosey" Parker, to bring the so-called "I.P.O. mob" (I.P.O. - Impersonating a Police Officer) to justice. Nanette Newman provides the love interest, the ubiquitous John Le Mesurier plays a senior policeman, and a young Michael Caine has a small and uncredited role as a young PC. Other uncredited roles include John Junkin (Maurice), Dennis Price (Educated Ernest), Cardew Robinson (Postman), Dick Emery (Man in Flat 307), Mario Fabrizi (Van Driver), John Harvey (Police Station Sergeant), Harold Siddons (PC in Basement Garage), Jack Silk (Police Station PC), Derek Guyler (non-speaking PC at Scotland Yard), Gerald Sim (Airfield Official) and Marianne Stone (“The bird in the front row” at Gangsters' Meeting).
- Peter Sellers as Pearly Gates
- Lionel Jeffries as Inspector Fred 'Nosey' Parker
- Bernard Cribbins as Nervous O'Toole
- Davy Kaye as Trainer King
- Nanette Newman as Valerie
- Bill Kerr as Jack Coombes
- Ed Devereaux as Bluey May
- Reg Lye as Reg Denton
- John Le Mesurier as Assistant Commissioner
- Graham Stark as Sid Cooper
- Martin Boddey as Superintendent J.S. Forest
- Irene Browne as Dowager
- Arthur Mullard as Brassknuckles
- Dermot Kelly as Misery Martin
- Vanda Godsell as Annette
- Tutte Lemkow as Siggy Schmoltz
- Barry Keegan as Mr. Pointer
Production and reception
Peter Sellers loved his 1961 Aston Marton DB4GT so much that he bought the car after shooting the film—contingent on the engine being replaced with a 4.0-litre Lagonda Rapide.
It was one of the 12 most popular films at the British box office in 1963.
In a positive review in The New York Times, Bosley Crowther concluded, "Of course, it is strictly lightweight clowning, longer on plot than on wit and wholly dependent on the archness of Mr. Sellers to give it a cachet. Others in the cast are amusing, especially Mr. Jeffries as the cop, but the enterprise stands by the stiffening of Mr. Sellers's cunning roguishness."
- "The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963) - Cliff Owen - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- "The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963)".
- The Times, 14 March 1963, Page 2
- Edsall, Larry. "Movie star, movie car: Sellers' DB4GT heading to auction". The ClassicCars.com Journal. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
- "Most Popular Films Of 1963." Times [London, England] 3 Jan. 1964: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2012.