Too Many Crooks (1959)

Feature Film | Crime-Comedy | UK | English | 1h27m
Dir: Mario Zampi | Scr: Michael Pertwee | Story: Christiane Rochefort & Jean Nery | Ph: Stanley Pavey | Prod: Mario Zampi | Mus: Stanley Black | Ed: Bill Lewthwaite | AD: Ivan King | Cast: Terry-Thomas, George Cole, Brenda De Banzie, Bernard Bresslaw, Sidney James, Joe Melia, Vera Day, Delphi Lawrence, John Le Mesurier, Sydney Tafler, Rosalie Ashley, Nicholas Parsons

In Zampi’s diverting crime-comedy, a gang of incompetent criminals plans to kidnap the daughter of a bank-shy businessman for ransom, but mistakenly nabs his long-suffering wife instead. The trouble is, he doesn’t want her back, and is unwilling to pay even £200 for her, let alone the £20,000 that they were initially asking. Of course, this proves to be a big mistake on his part, as she soon manages to convince them to let her join the gang, so that together they can fleece the old skinflint for every penny that he has. Whilst the considerable talents of Terry-Thomas, Cole, and James are put to good use, the majestic Bresslaw elicits as just many if not more laughs, playing a somewhat dumber version of his stock character. There are also some strong, memorable cameos. However, most of the female characters are disappointingly underwritten, and there one or two gaps in logic here and there.