Alec Guiness IS Alaistar Sims As Professor Marcus! ( Yes,that's what the funny teeth are all about.). But I digress...
This film is one of those great dark comedies,that could only ever be made in Britain.An American version would fail outright. Alec Guiness is in top form as a clever conman,and his gang of off beat cronies. Alec Guiness takes up residence at the home of the kindly Mrs.Wilberforce,convincing her he's a director of a string quartet. ( a.k.a.his gang.).That's the basic premise. What happens from there is evil comedy! Is Mrs.Wilberforce a criminal accomplice or an unassuming one-woman police force? Eventually,she will have to be dealt with....but who's going to kill the sweet old lady? There,is where the real problems begin!
It's great fun,but be aware,it's a very meticulous comedy. That is to say it's not a "wacky" sort of comedy.It's a thinking sort of comedy,it's more like a Charles Addams cartoon humour.If you are a Peter Sellers fan,you may be a little disappointed,it's his first film,and he's not given a lot of lines as the teddy-boy thug.( But he does have a few silly moments.). This might also be Peter Seller's first team up with future Pink Panther co-star Herbert Lom (Inspector Dreyfus ),whom is the scariest member of "the gang".
Over all a brilliant Alec Guiness vehicle,and wonderful support performances all around.