Two-Way Stretch

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Two-Way Stretch
Two-Way Stretch.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Robert Day
Produced by E.M. Smedley-Aston
Written by John Warren
Len Heath
Vivian Cox
Alan Hackney
(add'l dialogue)
Starring Peter Sellers
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Lionel Jeffries
Music by Ken Jones
Cinematography Geoffrey Faithfull
Edited by Bert Rule
Distributed by British Lion Films (UK)
Release date
  • 26 January 1960 (1960-01-26) (UK)
Running time
83 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Two-Way Stretch, sometimes titled Nothing Barred, is a 1960 British comedy film, about a group of prisoners who plan to break out of jail, commit a robbery, and then break back into jail again, thus giving them the perfect alibi – that they were behind bars when the robbery occurred.[1] However, their plans are disrupted by the arrival of a strict new Chief Prison Officer.[2]

The film was directed by Robert Day from a screenplay by Vivian Cox, John Warren and Len Heath, with additional dialogue by Alan Hackney.[3][1] The film boasts a rich cast of characters played by, among others, Peter Sellers, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Lionel Jeffries and Bernard Cribbins.[4]

Plot[edit]

Three prisoners nearing the end of their jail sentences; 'Dodger' Lane, 'Jelly' Knight and 'Lennie the Dip', are visited by a vicar seeking to find employment for them. He is actually smooth-talking conman 'Soapy' Stevens, who proposes a large-scale diamond robbery. They will also have the ultimate alibi; they will break out of prison, commit the robbery and then break back in.

With the assistance of Dodger's girlfriend Ethel and Lennie's mum, they smuggle themselves out in a prison van. The operation is almost foiled by the disciplinarian 'Sour' Crout, the new Chief Prison Officer who is replacing the easy-going retiring Jenkins.

The diamond heist goes like clockwork and the three break back into prison, hiding the proceeds in the Governor's office. When they 'officially' leave prison, they manage to take the loot with them. All goes well, until the sack of diamonds is lost on a train. Stevens is recognised and arrested, but the others get away – minus the diamonds.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The prison scenes were filmed at the West Cavalry Barracks at Aldershot, and the security van robbery at Pirbright Arch in the village of Brookwood in Surrey.[5][6]

Reception[edit]

The film was the fourth most popular movie at the British box office in 1960.

In The New York Times, Bosley Crowther gave it a positive review, writing, "the script by John Warren and Len Heath follows a straight line and is clever and full of good Cockney wit. Robert Day's direction is lively, in the vein of civilized farce, and the performances are delicious, right down the line," concluding, "Mr. Sellers is still on the rise."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Two Way Stretch (1960)".
  2. ^ "Two Way Stretch – review – cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times.
  3. ^ III, Harris M. Lentz (17 May 2010). "Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2009: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture". McFarland – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Two-Way Stretch (1961) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies.
  5. ^ "Reel Streets". www.reelstreets.com.
  6. ^ "bdca.org.uk • View topic – 1960 film "Two Way Stretch"". www.bdca.org.uk.
  7. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9903E1DA1739EE32A25757C2A9679C946091D6CF

External links[edit]