This bright, breezy British crime comedy from the Boulting brothers begins with incompetent villains Jelly (Dudley Sutton), Scapa Flood (James Beckett) and Lenny the Dip (Kenneth Griffith) leaving Wormwood Scrubs after serving 18 months in gaol for robbery.
They expect their boss, “The Duke” (Anton Rodgers) to have their cut of the loot ready to share out but Duke’s girl Sara (Charlotte Rampling at the beginning of her long film career) tells them the Duke is dead and the money went on his nursing care during his terminal illness.
The trio soon discovers that the Duke is actually alive and well in Longhampton running the Hope Springs Nature Clinic (where he gives gin-laced water to the elderly residents who drink it thinking it to be spring water) with the help of most of the local villains, who have names like Nick the Bible, Chopper Parsons and Dirty Bertie.
The proximity of the clinic to an army camp is no coincidence – the wily mastermind has a big plan to steal the British army’s payroll. As part of the plan, Sara is used as bait to ensnare the bone-headed Lieutenant Percy Vine (Ian Bannen) who is responsible for delivering the salaries of thousands of men on manoeuvres.
Meanwhile, Sara’s father Sir Henry Capell (Peter Vaughan) has hired bumbling private detective – and master of shoddy disguise – William Hunt (Eric Sykes) to keep an eye on his wayward daughter.
“The Duke” (Randolph Berkeley-Greene)
Lt. Percy Vine
Lenny the Dip
Chief Constable Preston
Sir Henry Capell
Countess de Wett (Matron)
Nick the Bible
Field Marshal von Schneer
Andre Van Gyseghem
War Office Major