The Big Job (film)

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The Big Job
"The Big Job" (1965).jpg
UK theatrical release poster
Directed by Gerald Thomas
Written by
Produced by
Cinematography Alan Hume
Edited byRod Nelson-Keys
Music by Eric Rogers
Distributed by Warner-Pathé Distributors
Release date
5 October 1965
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Big Job is a 1965 British comedy film. It starred Sid James, Dick Emery, Joan Sims, Sylvia Syms, Jim Dale and Lance Percival. [1] [2]


The Big Job shared its cast and production team with the Carry On films, but the film was not officially part of the Carry On series, despite being a typical Carry On format. The film was photographed in black and white, while the Carry On films from the mid 1960s were in colour. [3]


The story begins in London in 1950. A gang of robbers led by the self-proclaimed George "The Great" Brain rob a bank, stealing £50,000. They choose a hearse as a getaway vehicle and are pursued and caught by the police. However, before being caught they manage to conceal the money (which is in a briefcase) in the trunk of a hollow tree, before all three are arrested. The gang are sentenced to serve fifteen years in Wormwood Scrubs prison.

Upon their release in 1965, the gang go back to the spot where they had left the money, only to find it is now a new town, and a housing estate has been built around the tree. They are dismayed that the tree now lies in the grounds of the local police station - but it is invitingly close to the boundary wall. George and his gang take up rooms in a nearby house rented from a widow and her daughter who also live there. They rent two double rooms on the first floor. In order to provide a respectable front, George reluctantly agrees to marry his longtime girlfriend Myrtle Robbins who is not so enamoured about the idea of recovering the loot and wants George to settle down with her.

The incompetent criminals fail in their numerous attempts to get over or under the wall, all the while trying to conceal their true activities from their landlady, her daughter and a local police constable who also stays there. Eventually, when the men have botched an attempt to tunnel into the grounds, the frustrated women hatch their own plot to gain the money, and succeed, only to find that the money has been shredded by little bustards nesting in the tree.


Critical reception

Time Out wrote, "this 'unofficial' Carry On reproduces the familiar formula of its virtually institutionalised predecessors." [4]


Peter Rogers had a script for what eventually would be The Big Job, but elected not to incorporate it into the Carry On series. Of the principal cast, only Sylvia Syms and Dick Emery did not feature in at least one Carry On. The film was principally shot at Pinewood Studios, with exteriors at Silver Hill, Chalfont St Giles (the bank), Fulmer and Bracknell (residential and town streets) and Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire (countryside). [5]

See also

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  1. "The Big Job". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  2. "The Big Job". Nostalgia Central. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  3. The Big Job at IMDb Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  4. The Big Job | review, synopsis, book tickets, showtimes, movie release date | Time Out New York
  5. "Reel Streets". Reel Streets. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2017.