A group of criminals are on the run after a train robbery & find the perfect hiding place. A remote monastery on a small Cornish island. However after a shaky start the criminals start to adapt & enjoy their new life. But will their criminal origins catch up with them? A classic British comedy from the golden age with a cast of familiar faces from the big & small screen( Babs Windsor, Ron Fraser, Wilfrid Brambell , Cribbins etc). Sadly many of them are no longer with us.Not as cheeky as the Carry Ons but with some similarities,fans of UK comedy will enjoy this great British crime caper with its gentle humour & great characters.Their initial mishaps in dealing with a more sedate, natural life offer many classic scenes & the characters shine through. A shame we don't make 'em like this anymore.
Crooks in Cloisters
Comedy / Crime
Crooks in Cloisters
Comedy / Crime
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After a successful train robbery a gang led by Little Walter gets cold feet and needs to get out of London quickly. Little Walter, his moll Bikini and the rest of the gang escape to a Cornish island where they plan to hide out in a monastery disguised as monks. After living the life of a monk the gang splits, some want to leave and spend their loot while others enjoy the benefits of a simple life. Wilfrid Brambell pops up as a crooked sailor named Phineas which adds another dimension, similar to a "Carry On" film (with many carry on actors within); it plays more like an Ealing comedy, yet it was actually made by the great 'Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC)' as well as live action scenes at St Mawes and Portloe in Cornwall, England.—David Bond
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A life of crime can become a bad habit!
Dated, very gentle British comedy
CROOKS IN CLOISTERS is one of the weaker British comedy films I've watched. Made in 1964 and shot in colour on what looks to be a serviceable budget, the storyline sees a gang of robbers who escape the long arm of the law by travelling to a remote monastery on an island off the coast of Cornwall. There they must masquerade as monks while attempting to evade the notice of the authorities lest their true identities be revealed.
It's an acceptable enough storyline but it has to be said that the jokes are very tame here and almost unnoticeable for the most part. The character-focused shenanigans are almost entirely of the "fish out of water" variety as these friendly rogues must get used to farmyard animals, cooking, cleaning, and working in the vegetable patch. There are very few belly laughs and as a whole the comedy is weaker than a contemporary feature like CARRY ON JACK.
What CROOKS IN CLOISTERS does have going for it is an exemplary cast of comic faces. Ronald Fraser headlines the cast as the gang leader desperately trying to keep everything together, while Melvyn Hayes is the moonstruck youngster. Barbara Windsor, as the token female member of the crew, is as grating as ever, while Bernard Cribbins spends almost his entire running time getting to grips with a pesky goat. Watch out for an unrecognisably young Francesca Annis as a love interest, Corin Redgrave as a senior monk, and Wilfrid Brambell as a local chap who becomes involved in the shenigans and becomes a valuable ally.
Heaven help us!
Little Walter and his motley crew of robbers decide to get out of London after pulling off a tiny little train robbery. Holing up in a disused monastery off the Cornish coast, the gang start to find the way of life somewhat appealing, could it be that this gang of villains are going to get the habit?
There is no beating around the bush here, anyone outside of Britain are advised to stay well clear of this very British caper. It's amiable if very forgettable, but it most certainly shines as a beacon of Great British sensibilities. It's the sort of British film that would have benefited from having some top line writers at the helm, I smile when I think what Gilliat, Launder, Galton or Simpson could have done with the premise on offer. As it is it, it's daft nonsense that plays out exactly as you would expect, but upon the finale reveal, it still manages to cheer the spirit and bring about a cheesy grin. This is mainly down to the highly engaging cast that have managed to pull the discerning viewer into their new and engaging lives. Ronald Fraser, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Cribbins, Davy Kaye, Wilfrid Brambell and Melvyn Hayes are all instantly recognisable to fans of British film and television, so if you be one of those people? Then give it a go with your expectation level set at amiable. 6/10