Thanks to a tontine (look it up, its an investment system of the genocidal variety), two brothers are left as inheritors of a windfall. Problem is, only one can cash in. Last to die, wins the loot. Joseph Finsbury (Ralph Richardson) and Masterman Finsbury (John Mills) are the two brothers. Masterman is (apparently) half way to the pearly gates. Joseph sons Morris (Cook) and John (Moore), are greedy and want him bumped off. After a train wreck appears to have completed the job, they plan another way to win the fortune. Keep his body until brother Masterman expires.
Bryan Forbes was not only a dexterous actor, being charming and captivating but he also directed astounding films.The Wrong Box is his blackly comic film, removed from his kitchen sink work The L Shaped Room’ or his crime drama ‘Seance on a Wet Afternoon’. Instead we have delicious lines such as ‘Doctor, do you have any death certificates?’ delivered by comedy great Peter Cook to another great Peter Sellers. Tony Hancock gets in on the act. A detective of less mental prowess then Poirot and more Clouseau. John Mills, Ralph Richardson and Michael Caine all add their comic senses to the piece. Richardson is most successful. He pulls off the eccentric and devious to great effect. The film is awash with swipes at Victorian values, British class system, finance systems and all the cornucopia of the age. I find it funny that Forbes however, never ventures comment of the infanticide aspect of the tontine system. It was discontinued due in part to this.
The HD remaster should be compaired with the DVD version that is still available to buy. Gone is some of the (very slight) wear on the image. Nothing else could these eyes note.
Right now to the key to you parting with your money. The commentary by Vic Pratt and Josephine Botting underlines the Ealing connections, Critical reception, histories of all and sundry and of course the best bit, about the trumpet playing in Cyprus. Just listen. Nanette Newman talks sees Nanette talk about the films reception, Bryan Forbes and how he got people on the film. Also how Ralph wore the same coat. Maybe that is a book. ‘The films of Ralph Richardsons Jacket’. Maybe. Box Cutting speaks to the films assistant editor. Willy Kemplen talks odd bits of the films set and cast. From the house the film was shot in, Hancock being miserable and how getting rid of aerials is a difficult task. Chasing the cast is a chat with the second assistant director. Hugh Harlow worked on Hammer films. He details lost stars in pubs and bars, Bryan Forbes friends and all.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
High Definition remaster
Original mono audio
The British Entertainment History Project Interview with Bryan Forbes (1994): archival audio recording of the celebrated filmmaker in conversation with Roy Fowler
New and exclusive audio commentary with film historians Josephine Botting and Vic Pratt
Interview with Nanette Newman (2018): the award-winning actor talks about The Wrong Box and her work with husband Bryan Forbes
Original theatrical trailer
Image gallery: promotional photography and publicity material
New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Vic Pratt, an overview of contemporary critical responses and historic articles on the film
World premiere on Blu-ray
LIMITED EDITION OF 3,000 copies