DVD Review – Crooks In Cloisters
Studiocanal have re-mastered this British 60s caper, but has it lost it’s charm over the decades? Scott takes a look
When a group of London criminals rob a train it becomes apparent that they must go underground until the heat dies down. They take refuge by purchasing a small island off of the Cornish coast, complete with vacant Monastery. The six decide to hide out and pretend to be actual monks, including one member nicknamed Bikini, played by Barbara Windsor.
Hilarity breaks out as the gang must avoid the attentions of tourists and fishermen all threatening to blow their cover. Will the gang pull it off and escape the clutches of Superintendent Mungo and take to their new life? Or will the urge to go back to their old ways become too much?
Crooks In Cloisters has quite a novel little premise, a fish out of water story, a strong cast and some very well timed gags. Most of the laughs come from the obsudity of hardened criminals trying to adapt to life as Monks. The leader of the gang, Little Walter insists that if they are to carry out this sharade they must all act as true religous men, wear the monk’s habit, work on the monastery farm and sleep on the hard plank beds, this leads to the gang complaining that they would probably be better off in prison than on this island.
The film is neither deep or dark. It is a light British style comedy. Strong turns from Bernard Cribbins and Ronald Fraser but the entire class seem to be on good form. Barbara Windsor’s Bikini is the stand out for me. This was before the Carry On films that made her famous and she is often quoted that this is the film that brought her name to the foreground, and you can see why. Her stereotypical giggling blonde is brilliant but there is much more wise crack here than we have seen in later roles.
The film is broad and coarse at times with it’s humour painted on in broad strokes but never crude and over the top. It is like a postcard snap shot of post war britain before the swinging 60s really settled in and took over.
CROOKS IN CLOISTERS IS RELEASED ON DVD ON 9TH JULY IN UK BY STUDIOCANAL
About The Author – Scott Lawlor
Chief Editor of FRC. A self confessed geek with an unhealthy thirst for all things Home Cinema. Whether it is the latest Action film or Subwoofer. Check out his home set up HERE
Are you a fan of British comedy? Do you enjoy the carry on films? Comment below…