The Law of Contact

Dry Rot (October 31, 1956)

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Ronald Shiner, Brian Dix and Sid James in Dry Rot
 

Released on October 31, 1956: British race horse bookie called "Honest" Alf who isn't very honest, tries to make a fortune on the big race by entering and old nag and betting against it.

Produced by Jack Clayton

Directed by Maurice Elvey

The Actors: Ronald Shiner (Alf Tubbe), Brian Rix (Fred Phipps), Peggy Mount (Sergeant Fire), Lee Patterson (John Danby), Sidney James (Flash Harry), Joan Sims (Beth Barton), Heather Sears (Susan Wagstaff), Michael Shepley (Colonel Henry Wagstaff), Joan Haythorne (Mrs. Doris Wagstaff), Miles Malleson (yokel), Christian Duvaleix (Polignac the jockey), John T. Chapman (Claude), Joan Benham (blonde girl), Raymond Glendenning (commentator), Fred Griffiths (bookie), John Pike (urchin), Wilfrid Brambell (tar man), Shirley Anne Field (unknown), Peter Stockbridge (unknown)

 

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Silly Shiner, Sidney and Lord Brian Rix

This silly comedy caper is full of notable British comedy actors, not the least of which are the three main characters. Honest Alf, played by Ronald Shriner, is not honest, but full of mirth and mischief as a race horse track bookie who never seems to be on the right side of the bets. In 1952, a few years before this movie, Ronald Shriner was voted as one of the top ten British box office personalities by the movie houses in England. One of the British born comedy actors to score above him was Bob Hope, who had a nose even more famous than the huge honker of Ronald Shiner. I am told that Shiner once insured his famous nose for twenty thousand pounds with Lloyds of London. In this comedy caper he and his cohorts will try to make a killing at the big horse race by entering an old nag that can barely walk, let alone race. By betting against old Sweet Lavender they can make a fortune. His partners in crime are Brian Rix, who as Freddie Phipps will end up riding the favorite horse in the race with the intention of deliberately riding poorly to make sure that the favorite does not win. A few years before this movie was made Brian Rix fathered a child who had Down's syndrome, and as a result he dedicated the better part of his next years to promoting public awareness and raising funds to aid mentally handicapped children. He became the Vice Lord Lieutenant of London, and later the first Chancellor of the University of East London. The third comedy legend in this story is Sidney James, who arrived in England from his homeland in South Africa only ten years before this story was filmed. Sid James would take the leading part four years after this movie in "Carry on Constable" and would become well known in Britain as the King of Carry On, acting in several sequels in the Carry On series. He would die with his boots on, so to speak, by having a fatal heart attack while on stage in Sunderland, England in 1976. You can see more if Sid James in the comedy television show with Tony Hancock in the Hancock's Half Hour episodes. But enough about the real characters, get ready to laugh at the silly antics of nearly everyone associated with the three comic criminals trying to grab the big payday while staying at the Bull and Cow, where we will encounter much more Bull than anything else. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Brian Rix meets Joan Sims
Brian Rix meets Joan Sims
Brian Rix
Brian Rix
Christian Duvaleix meets Joan Haythorne
Christian Duvaleix meets Joan Haythorne
Heather Sears kisses Lee Peterson
Heather Sears kisses Lee Peterson
Heather Sears and Lee Patterson
Heather Sears and Lee Patterson
Heather Sears
Heather Sears
Joan Haythorne and Michael Shepley
Joan Haythorne and Michael Shepley
Joan Sims and Joan Haythorne
Joan Sims and Joan Haythorne
Lee Patterson and Heather Sears
Lee Patterson and Heather Sears
Lee Patterson and Michael Shepley
Lee Patterson and Michael Shepley
Lee Patterson and Ronald Shiner
Lee Patterson and Ronald Shiner
Michael Shepley
Michael Shepley
Michael Shepley
Michael Shepley
Peggy Mount and Michael Shepley
Peggy Mount and Michael Shepley
Peggy Mount as Sergeant Fire
Peggy Mount as Sergeant Fire
Peggy Mount
Peggy Mount
Raymond Glendenning
Raymond Glendenning
Ronald Shiner and Brian Rix
Ronald Shiner and Brian Rix
Ronald Shiner and Brian Rix
Ronald Shiner and Brian Rix
Ronald Shiner, Sid James and Christian Duvaleix
Ronald Shiner, Sid James and Christian Duvaleix
Ronald Shiner
Ronald Shiner
Sidney James, Brian Rix and Ronald Shiner
Sidney James, Brian Rix and Ronald Shiner
Sidney James and Brian Rix
Sidney James and Brian Rix
Sidney James
Sidney James