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THE WRONG BOX: Blu-ray (Columbia, 1966) Powerhouse/Indicator

Misdirection and charade in the extreme, a la the Ealing Studios’ screwball comedies from the 1940’s, re-fitted for the psychedelic sixties, plus a superb ensemble, featuring such noteworthy Brit-born luminaries as Ralph Richardson, John Mills and Peter Sellers, intermingling with then rising talents, Michael Caine, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, are all great reasons to see, director, Bryan Forbes’ The Wrong Box(1966); heavily rewritten by screenwriters, Larry Gelbert and Burt Shevelove to bear only a passing resemblance to its source material by Robert Lewis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne. The picture, parceled off into quirky vignettes, by turns merry and macabre, tumbles forth in fits and sparks – some, more successful at assailing the pinnacle of its tongue-firmly-in-cheek black comedy, while others split under the strain of belabored dialogue and situations that drag and stall the plot into an almost mechanical exercise, slavishly devoted to the precepts of the ole-English farce. No…

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