Come Play With Me. Copyright: Roldvale.

Come Play With Me

1977 British comedy film about a crime gang. Stars Irene Handl, Alfie Bass, Mary Millington, Bob Todd, Tommy Godfrey and others.

Trivia

Co-star, writer and director George Harrison Marks's then-wife, Toni, and daughter, Josephine, both make appearances in the film.

Filming on Come Play With Me began just five weeks after writer George Harrison Marks had mentioned the idea to publisher and aspiring film producer David Sullivan.

Source: 'Keeping The British End Up' by Simon Sheridan

Writer-director George Harrison Marks had aspired to create far more of a saucy comedy romp than his executive producer, David Sullivan, had in mind. His initial version of the film contained little nudity, in response to which Sullivan ordered a plethora of new scenes to be shot.

Source: 'Keeping The British End Up' by Simon Sheridan

Many of the film's more serious actors were shocked to discover that they were not in fact working on the production of a Carry On-esque saucy romp, but that gratuitous nude scenes were also being filmed. A number - including Irene Handl, Ronald Fraser and Alfie Bass - complained to actors' union Equity, who referred the matter to police.

Source: 'Keeping The British End Up' by Simon Sheridan

Whilst only a relatively mild version of the film was screened in Britain, a more explicit edit was also produced. Intended for release on the continent, where more liberal attitudes to sex were abundant, it did not in fact receive a release: but was once accidentally screened at one cinema in Swiss Cottage, north London.

Source: 'Keeping The British End Up' by Simon Sheridan

At the time of production, Mary Millington was the girlfriend of executive producer David Sullivan as well as the star of his stable of erotic and pornographic magazines.

David Sullivan struck a deal with the then newly-refurbished Classic Moulin cinema, opposite the infamous Windmill Theatre on Great Windmill Street in London's Soho, that they would continue showing Come Play With Me indefinitely, ending only when weekly takings fell below a "break even" figure of £1,000. This meant the film kept running for almost four whole years - a total of 201 weeks from its April 1977 opening.

Source: 'Keeping The British End Up' by Simon Sheridan

Come Play With Me is the longest-running movie in British cinema history.

Come Play With Me was produced with a budget of £84,670.

Source: 'Keeping The British End Up' by Simon Sheridan