1963 - Dir.: Cliff Owen
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 24th September, 2005
Twenty four years is all that separates “The Wrong Arm of the Law” from “Ask a Policeman”. The plot is subtly different but the cops are all bumblers, the crooks are all loveable rogues and the film ends in a chase - it’s a tried and tested formula that’s still in use today!
1963 was a busy year for Peter Sellers - he also made “Dr Strangelove”, “Heavens Above” and “The Pink Panther” in that year (the French accent in this film is surely related to Clouseau’s). This marks a sort of half way stage in Seller’s transition from British ensemble player to Hollywood superstar.
The film has its roots firmly in the 1930’s of Will Hay, picks up a touch of whimsy from Ealing Studios and adds a lacquering of “Swinging ‘60s” with a jazzy score by Richard Rodney Bennett and classy titles. The script is largely the work of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson of “Steptoe and Son” fame
Look out for the young Michael Caine and the (not so young) Dick Emery in un-credited bit parts