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4.6 out of 5 stars30
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on June 3, 2004
A magnificent British comedy from 1966, starring (a young) Michael Caine, Nanette Newman, Dudley Moore, and Sir Ralph Richardson, among other luminaries. While consistently funny, this comedy also has a heart and a wonderful story. The acting, comic timing, editing, and directing are all utterly first rate. One of the best of the best. 2 thumbs up!
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on April 15, 2012
This is a must see film. A cast of greats, Michael Caine, Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Ralph Richardson Peter Sellers, John Mills. The storyline is brilliant, tight and hilarious. I have watched this movie over and over again for the nuiances, odd plot twists and laughs.

I especially love the butler, Peacock.

Buy this, you will thank me later.
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on June 26, 2012
This was one of Michael Caine's earliest movies, and his star quality shines throughout. Dudley Moore and Peter Cook are as zaney as ever, and Ralph Richardson is superb! This is a wonderful movie, and should be in every movie-buff's private library.
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on May 11, 2001
THE WRONG BOX defines humorless Victorian Age in a humorous way with wit worthy of its' blue ribbon cast including Michael Caine and Peter Sellers. It was a Victorian time when cousin Caine is turned on by a turned ankle under the hem of cousin Nanette Newman's skirt during the musical strains of "If you were the only girl in the world." Their destiny was love and resounding relief when each learned that both were orphans in fact: "Father was a missionary, eaten by his Bible class." Peacock, the butler, is a vestigial up-and-up English retainer servant. "Beggin your pardon, Sir. I haven't been paid in seven years." His scenes put you on notice that the next thing you'll hear is yourself chuckling. Sellers is unbelievably funny as the back-alley abortionist,Dr. Pratt, hired by one of the cousins to provide a blank, signed death certificate. He practices from a cat-infested office. His bedside manner hinges on cats which he uses to wipe his hands and blot his signature [on the phony death certificate]. Hearing Sellers cough, Peter Cook asks if the doctor is okay. Sellers answers, "I'm okay. It's only a hair ball." I don't know of an equal to this British laugh convention. THE WRONG BOX proves out that greed is great breeding ground for good comedy.
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on May 11, 2001
THE WRONG BOX defines humorlous Victorian Age in a humorous way with a wit worthy of its' blue ribbon cast including Michael Caine and Peter Sellers. It was a Victorian time when cousin Caine is turned on by a turned ankle at the hem of cousin Nanette Newman's skirt during the strains of "If you were the only girl in the world." Their destiny was love and resounding relief when each learned that both were orphans in fact: "Father was a missionary, eaten by his Bible class." Peacock, the butler, is a vestigial up-and-up English retainer servant. "Beggin your pardon, Sir. I haven't been paid in seven years." His scenes put you on notice that the next thing you'll hear is yourself chuckling. Sellers is unbelievably funny as the back-alley abortionist,Dr. Pratt, hired by one of the cousins to provide a blank, signed death certificate. He practices from a cat-infested office. His bedside manner hinges on cats which he uses to wipe his hands and blot his signature [on the phony death certificate]. Hearing Sellers cough, Peter Cook asks if the doctor is okay. Sellers answers, "I'm okay. It's only a hair ball." I don't know of an equal to this British laugh convention. THE WRONG BOX proves out that greed is great breeding ground for good comedy.
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on March 17, 2001
The Wrong Box is a little known gem - a film adorned with dark humour involving a cast of superb actors. The premise is that in the early 19th century the parents of a group of young boys enter into a lottery (a tontine) by each investing £1000, the total being paid to the boy who lives longest. The film takes place in the late 19th century, during the old age of the boys (most of whom have already died) and revolves around the two remaining members of the tontine, the brothers Finsbury. One of the brothers (Sir John Mills) is on his deathbed, meaning that if he dies his brother (Sir Ralph Richardson) will acquire the tontine. The film's highlights involve the two nephews of Sir Ralph Richardson's character (Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore) trying to get their grubby hands on the tontine despite thinking that their uncle has been tragically killed in an unfortunate train accident, occuring on the way to visit the dying brother. The film is a gentle victorian comedy and improves on each viewing. Highly recommended for those who like charming, subtle fare.
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on December 15, 2000
In a previous review, I said that only Bedazzled captured the comic brilliance of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore on screen. I take that back. Cook and Moore have a delightful outing in The Wrong Box, which also provides delightful outings for John Mills, Ralph Richardson, Michael Caine, Peter Sellers and many other great British comic actors. Based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Wrong Box tells of two warring, elderly brothers who are the last surviving members of a tontine--a lottery whose proceeds go to the last surviving participant--and the machinations of their various family members to try and get their hands on the money. The family members vary between the naive (Richardson, Caine, Nanette Newman), the crooked (Mills, Cook) and those falling somewhere in-between (Moore), and there are schemes, corpses and misunderstandings galore. Add a serial killer, a train wreck, a doddering butler, two hearses chasing each other and Sellers as a drunken, cat-loving doctor, and you have a smashing entertainment which provides constant chuckles and frequent belly-laughs. The Victorian sets are opulent, the music by John Barry supremely hummable. For fans of British humor, it's a treasure.
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on February 16, 2013
I was lucky enough to be an extra in this movie when it was made in the city of Bath in England, and although my scene was cut before the movie was released, I remember those days vividly. The movie is a delightful British comedy, with many fine comedians who are probably not well known in North America, though they were certainly household names in Britain. For those who enjoy such expert comedy nonsense as much as I do, there's great pleasure here.
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on August 15, 2000
When estranged brothers Masterman and Joseph Finsbury, the former bedridden and the latter a dodderer obsessed with useless trivia, are the last survivors of a lottery whose proceeds go to the man who outlives the other contestants, a family feud erupts into hilarious wholesale warfare. Even more engaging than what the characters know is what they don't know, which has disastrously funny results. An ancient butler, a bewildered "venal" doctor, two adopted orphans, two scheming cousins, a room full of eggs, a serial strangler, a train crash, and intrigues with barrels, boxes, crates, and even a piano, combine with an artfully crafted backdrop of Victorian London to make this one of the most wonderfully enjoyable films I've ever watched. It is definitely one of the best comedies I've seen in a long time.
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on December 18, 1998
This is a must see. Michael Caine, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, Ralph Richardson, John Mills. Hilarious black comedy set in Victorian London. I believe it is based (loosely) on a Robert Louis Stevenson story, "The Tantin (sp?)". The plot revolves around a tantin, a pot of money that goes to the last surviving participant . Most of the story involves the last two survivors (the movie begins with a quick review of the demise of each of the less fortunate participants) and a small group of relatives that surround them. These include greedy, creepy plotters, trying to cheat to be in line for the fortune; and innocent, sweet and frustratedly sexual near lovers who are oblivious to everything but each other. The scenes with Peter Sellers as a drunken and disoriented Doctor are priceless.
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