Two-Way Stretch, sometimes titled Nothing Barred, is a 1960 British comedy film, about a group of prisoners who plan to break out of jail, commit a robbery, and then break back into jail again, thus giving them the perfect alibi – that they were behind bars when the robbery occurred. However, their plans are disrupted by the arrival of a strict new Chief Prison Officer.
|Directed by||Robert Day|
|Produced by||E.M. Smedley-Aston|
|Written by||John Warren|
|Music by||Ken Jones|
|Edited by||Bert Rule|
|Distributed by||British Lion Films (UK)|
The film was directed by Robert Day from a screenplay by Vivian Cox, John Warren and Len Heath, with additional dialogue by Alan Hackney. The film boasts a rich cast of characters played by, among others, Peter Sellers, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Lionel Jeffries and Bernard Cribbins.
Three prisoners nearing the end of their jail sentences; 'Dodger' Lane, 'Jelly' Knight and 'Lennie the Dip', are visited by a vicar seeking to find employment for them. He is actually smooth-talking conman 'Soapy' Stevens, who proposes a large-scale diamond robbery. They will also have the ultimate alibi; they will break out of prison, commit the robbery and then break back in.
With the assistance of Dodger's girlfriend Ethel and Lennie's mum, they smuggle themselves out in a prison van. The operation is almost foiled by the disciplinarian 'Sour' Crout, the new Chief Prison Officer who is replacing the easy-going retiring Jenkins.
The diamond heist goes like clockwork and the three break back into prison, hiding the proceeds in the Governor's office. When they 'officially' leave prison, they manage to take the loot with them. All goes well, until the sack of diamonds is lost on a train. Stevens is recognised and arrested, but the others get away – minus the diamonds.
- Peter Sellers as Dodger Lane
- Lionel Jeffries as Prison Officer 'Sour' Crout
- Wilfrid Hyde-White as Soapy Stevens
- Bernard Cribbins as Lennie (The Dip) Price
- David Lodge as Jelly Knight
- Irene Handl as Mrs Price
- Liz Fraser as Ethel
- Maurice Denham as Horatio Bennett, the Prison Governor
- Beryl Reid as Miss Pringle
- George Woodbridge as Chief Prison Officer Jenkins
- Edwin Brown as Warder Charlie
- Cyril Chamberlain as Gate Warder – Day
- Wallas Eaton as Gate Warder – Night
- William Abney as Visiting Room Warder
- Thorley Walters as Colonel Parkright
- John Wood as Captain
- Robert James as Police Superintendent
- Walter Hudd as Reverend Patterson
- Mario Fabrizi as Jones
- Warren Mitchell as Tailor
- John Glyn-Jones as Lawyer
- Arthur Mullard as Fred
- Ian Wilson as Milkman
- Edward Dentith as Detective
- John Harvey as Governor Rockhampton Prison
Two-Way Stretch was the fourth most popular film at the British box office in 1960.
In The New York Times, Bosley Crowther gave it a positive review, writing, "the script by John Warren and Len Heath follows a straight line and is clever and full of good Cockney wit. Robert Day's direction is lively, in the vein of civilized farce, and the performances are delicious, right down the line," concluding, "Mr. Sellers is still on the rise."
- "Two Way Stretch (1960)".
- "Two Way Stretch – review – cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times.
- III, Harris M. Lentz (17 May 2010). "Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2009: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture". McFarland – via Google Books.
- "Two-Way Stretch (1961) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies.
- "Reel Streets". www.reelstreets.com.
- "bdca.org.uk • View topic – 1960 film "Two Way Stretch"". www.bdca.org.uk.