Playing a stripper was hardly the most auspicious start to Julie Christie’s career, but she managed to cover herself in some glory in this amiable if unremarkable comedy from Director Ken Annakin.
The film focuses on an organisation called ‘Crooks Anonymous’ – a self-help group run by ex-convicts to reform their less fortunate brethren who cannot resist dabbling in crime. The head of these dubious do-gooders is Montague (Wilfrid Hyde-White), and his team includes Widdowes (Stanley Baxter) and Ronnie (Michael Medwin).
Leslie Phillips heads the cast as dapper safe-breaker and thief Dandy Forsdyke, who avails himself of their services when his stripper girlfriend Babette (Christie) refuses marriage until he reforms.
After passing a rigorous course of correction, he becomes Santa Claus in a department store. But the realisation that there will be £250,000 in the safe over the Christmas holiday is too great a temptation for him. It also proves equally irresistible to the members of Crooks Anonymous sent to discourage him!
They plan a fantastic scheme to get the money out – only to be talked into returning it. And “un-robbing” the safe proves more hazardous than robbing it in the first place.
Annakin and much of the cast would reunite for the marginally better The Fast Lady in the same year.
Sir Harvey Russelrod
James Robertson Justice