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The Wrong Box Details


Years before the story proper in The Wrong Box gets under way, a "tontine" is drawn up on behalf several young British boys. Each of the boys' parents had placed 1000 pounds in a pool, to be invested and expanded upon. The resultant fortune will go to the last surving member of the tontine. A series of montages depicts the various demises of the heirs (our favorite occurs when one of them is inadvertently beheaded while being knighted by Queen Victoria). Finally, only two of the tontine participants are left: aged brothers Ralph Richardson and John Mills. On his last legs, Mills is determined that Richardson will not outlive him, and to that end attempts to kill his brother; each attempt fails spectacularly, with the doddering Richardson none the wiser. Standing to benefit from the tontine are Mills' dimwitted med-student son Michael Caine and Richardson's greedy nephews Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. When Richardson is supposedly killed in a train wreck, Cook and Moore don't want the authorities to find out, so they appropriate what they think is their uncle's corpse and ship it home in a box. Thus it is that Caine finds the body of a perfect stranger on his doorstep. The farcical complications begin flying about thick and fast from this point onward. Among the participants in this wacky gigglefest are such formidable talents as Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Wilfred Lawson, Thorley Walters, Norman Rossington, Irene Handl and Cicely Courtenedge. Based on a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Wrong Box is a delightful harkback to the glory days of Britain's Ealing comedies. We were so wrapped up in the story that we didn't even notice all those TV antennae sprouting up on the rooftops of Victorian London. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Awarded by
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Julie Harris Best Costume Design in Color [British] 1966 Winner


John Mills
as Masterman Finsbury
Ralph Richardson
as Joseph Finsbury
Michael Caine
as Michael Finsbury
Peter Cook
as Morris Finsbury
Dudley Moore
as John Finsbury
Nanette Newman
as Julia Finsbury
Peter Sellers
as Dr. Pratt
Tony Hancock
as Detective
Wilfred Lawson
as Peacock
Thorley Walters
as Lawyer Patience
Irene Handl
as Mrs. Hackett
Gerald Sim
as 1st Undertaker
John Le Mesurier
as Dr. Slattery
Tutte Lemkow
as Bournemouth Strangler
Vanda Godsell
as Mrs. Goodge
Norman Rossington
as 1st Rough
Avis Bunnage
as Queen Victoria
Leonard Rossiter
as Vyvyan Alastair Montague
Willoughby Goddard
as James White Wragg
Diane Clare
as Mercy
Denis Cowles
as Sotheby's Partner
Martin Terry
as 2nd Stoker
Maria Kazan
as Twittering Female on Moors
Penny Brahms
Hilton Edwards
as Lawyer
John Junkin
as 1st Engine Driver
James Villiers
as Sydney Whitcombe Sykes
Jeremy Lloyd
as Brian Allen Harvey
Dick Gregory
as Leicester Young Fielding
Hamilton Dyce
as Derek Lloyd Peter Digby
Andre Morell
as Club Butler
Lionel Gamlin
as 2nd Engine Driver
Graham Stark
as Ian Scott Fife
Reg Lye
as 3rd Undertaker
Charlie Bird
as Bonn's Vanman
Marianne Stone
as Spinster on Train
Joseph Behrman
as Vanman's Mate
Frank Singuineau
as Native Bearer
Gwendolyn Watts
as Maid
Michael Lees
as Young Digby
Timothy Bateson
as Clerk
Tony Thawnton
as 2nd Undertaker
Valentine Dyall
as Oliver Pike Harmsworth
Donald Tandy
as Ticket Collector
George Selway
as Railway Vanman


Bryan Forbes
Bryan Forbes
Lloyd Osbourne
Book Author
Larry Gelbart
Gerry Turpin
John Barry
Musical Direction/Supervision
John Barry
Composer (Music Score)
Ray Simm
Art Director
Julie Harris
Costume Designer
Basil Newall
Paul Rabiger
Lloyd Osbourne
Short Story Author