It’s hard not to warm to a Boulting Brothers film especially one so chock-full of silver age talent, most sadly lost, but others still very much with us and acting up a storm (take a bow Charlotte Rampling).
Rotten to the Core could fairly be described as a caper movie and one of a number riding that post Great Train Robbery sense of mixed feelings… freedom and license are two very different things and most films took the “spirit” as far as they could whilst operating within accepted morality… “hang on: I’ve got an idea…”
|Charlotte Rampling and those electric eyes|
They seem pretty hapless before their parole board but they have high hopes of getting their un-just deserts after they have been re-united with their boss and criminal mastermind, The Duke or to give his full moniker, Randolph Berkeley-Greene (Anton Rodgers). But on being greeted by his lady friend, Sara Capell (Charlotte Rampling), they find out that he has passed away with their loot lost with him.
|Griffith, Sutton and Beckett|
There’s more to this than meets the eye… and in this case a private eye, former plod William Hunt (Eric Sykes) who is recruited by Sara’s father Sir Henry Capell (the eternally brilliant Peter Vaughan – who has just turned 93!) to make sure she is not falling in with a bad crowd. It’s a bit late for that as we see her gallivanting about in bra and scanties with first The Duke and then military man, Lt. Percy Vine (Ian Bannen).
|Charlotte Rampling and Anton Rodgers|
The boys knock on Sara’s door and as she tries to get rid of her military mug they spot details of the Hope Springs Nature Clinic and, whilst adding up isn’t really their forte, they still work out it’s where they’ll find the Duke.
|Eric and Charlotte - inapprorpiate on the Tube?|
The three new arrivals want in on the action and after the Duke makes them, literally, sweat on his good favour and has his accomplice, Countess de Wett (Avis Bunnage) test them for IQ (they have none) they are briefed by Anxious O'Toole (Victor Maddern).
|The Duke briefs the team|
Now things get really complicated as the army is due a ceremonial visit from a German general at the same time the payroll is due. All looks doomed until Duke comes up with another fool-proof innovation: he will impersonate the general and distract the army long enough for the original plan to come off…
|Ian and Charlotte|
|Victor Maddern,Anton Rodgers and Avis Bunnage|
It’s neither great of laugh-out loud hilarious but Rotten to the Core is still entertaining enough for a rainy spring afternoon’s viewing.
|Ian Bannen and Charlotte Rampling|