Monthly Film Bulletin, August, 1960, #319, Vol. 27, p. 114


AUDIENCE SUITABILITY of the films reviewed is indicated as follows:  A, adults only; B, adults and adolescents (13-18) only;  C, family audiences, i.e., films to which parents can take or send their children inthe knowledge that they contain no scenes or characters likely to frighter or disturb children; D, films for children over 7, i.e., films which children will enjoy and whichj contain no frightening and disturbing elements.

CREDIT ABBREVIATIONS:  Cert--Certificate.  dist--Distributors.  p.c.--Production Company.  p--Producer.  assoc. p.--Associate Producer.  d--Director.   sc--Script.  adapt.--Adaptation.  ph--Photography.  col.--Colour Process.  ed--Editor.  a.d.--Art Director.  m--Music.  m.d.--Music Director.  choreo--Choreography.  sd--Sound sde.rec.--Sound Recording.  l.p.--Leading Players.  comm--Commentary


IN THE NICK, Great Britain, 1959

Cert:  U.  dist:  Columbia.  p.c.:  Warwick.  exec. p.:  Irving Allen, Albert R. Broccoli.  p:  Harold Huth.  d/sc:  Ken Hughes.  Based on the original story by Frank Norman.  ph:  Ted Moore.  Cinema-Scope.  ed:  Geoffrey Foot.  a.d.:  Ken Adam.  m:  Ron Goodwin.  songs:  Lionel Bart.  choreo:  Lionel Blair.  sd:  Wally Milner, Jim Groome.  sd.rec.:  Gerry Turner.  l.p.:  James Booth (Spider), Anthony Newley (Dr. Newcombe), Anne Aubrey (Doll), Bernie Winters (Jinx), Harry Andrews (Chief Officer Williams), Niall MacGinnis (Prison Governor), Derren Nesbitt (Mick), Al Mulock (Dancer), Ian Hendry (Ted Ross), Victor Brooks (Screw Smith), Barry Keegan (Screw Jenkins), Kynaston Reeves (Judge).  9,482 ft. 105 mins.

The Spider Kelly gang is sent to an experimental prison without bars where Spider clashes with and eventually quells a rival mob, led by Ted Ross, which holds the monopoly in smuggled cigarettes.  Dr. Newcombe, the newly arrived psychiatrist, sets about the uphill task of trying to reform the boys and enlists the help of Spider's girl friend  Doll who, to Spider's annoyance, is now earning her living as a striptease dancer in a Soho cabaret.  Newcombe seems to be straightening Spider out until, at the prison Christmas party, he comes under suspicion of having stolen the inmates' presents.  He is cleared,  however, when proof is obtained that Ross is the guilty one.  Spider's reformation is complete, the Prison Governor apologises handsomely to Newcombe, Doll agrees to marry Spider and Newcombe has the satisfaction of a job well done.

A sequel to Jazz Boat, with the same leading characters and production team, In the Nick is cast very much in the same mould--easy-going mixture of farce and fantasy, loose and ingenuous scripting, excellent (if bizarre) team-playing.  James Booth stands out for his genuinely observed portrait of Spider, Bernie Winters appears to be one of those rare comedians who can keep his moronic style of clowning free from of offensiveness, and Niall MacGinnis (Governor), Harry Andrews (Chief Officer) and Ian Hendry (rival mobsters) all catch the eye.  Anthony Newley is rather at sea as a psychiatrist, but plays with a likable modesty and warmth, and an improved Anne Aubrey discretely burlesques Jayne Mansfield.  There is much in this film that is conventionally weak and structurally uneven, yet it gets closer to contemporary feeling than numerous more ambitious comedies.  The dialogue, particularly, strikes an authentic note, and Ken Hughes' debt to Frank Norman, who wrote the original story, seems considerable.

Suitability:  A, B, C                                                                                                                                                I