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Rotten to the Core (1965)

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)
Anton Rodgers
Sara Capell
Charlotte Rampling
William Hunt
Eric Sykes
Lt. Percy Vine
Ian Bannen
Jelly Knight
Dudley Sutton
Lenny the Dip
Kenneth Griffith
Scapa Flood
James Beckett
Chief Constable Preston
Thorley Walters
Sir Henry Capell
Peter Vaughan
Anxious O’Toole
Victor Maddern
Countess de Wett (Matron)
Avis Bunnage
Moby
Frank Jarvis
Nick the Bible
Arthur Skinner
Chopper Parsons
Ian Wilson
Dirty Bertie
Kenneth Dight
Field Marshal von Schneer
Andre Van Gyseghem
German A.D.C.
Peter Zander
War Office Major
Robert Bruce
Guard Commander
Neil Hallett
British A.D.C.
Danvers Walker
The General
Basil Dignam
Mrs Dick
Barbara Everest
Miss Rossiter
Margaret Lacey
The Admiral
Cameron Hall
Drainpipe Fred
John Baker
Inspector Hewlett
Richard Coleman

Director
John Boulting

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