British Comedy Guide

The Big Money. Image shows from L to R: Willie Frith (Ian Carmichael), Gloria (Belinda Lee). Copyright: Rank Organisation.

The Big Money

Comedy about a small-time thief who becomes caught up in a world of organised crime after stealing a suitcase stuffed with forged £1 notes

Ian Carmichael, Belinda Lee, Kathleen Harrison, Robert Helpmann, James Hayter, George Coulouris, Renee Houston, Michael Brennan and others
John Baines and Patrick Campbell
John Paddy Carstairs

Willie Frith may be from a family of petty criminals, but with a gentle streak and ever-present clumsiness he just doesn't seem to have the same natural gift for the family trade as his parents or younger siblings. Each with their own area of criminality expertise, from shoplifting to pick-pocketing, Willie is a bag-snatcher who somehow keeps choosing the wrong bag to swipe.

Desperate to return home with a haul to please his overbearing father for once, 20-something Willie grabs the bag of a Reverend at Victoria station - and is delighted upon opening it to discover thousands of pound notes.

His delight quickly turns to frustration as his father notices that the notes have identical serial numbers: useless forgeries that must be burned. Reasoning that he can spend one at a time to avoid detection, Willie refuses to allow the notes' destruction, and his father throws him out.

However, it's not long before the temptation of beautiful blonde barmaid Gloria has him splashing the cash around a little more freely. The windfall gives the normally shy Willie a new-found confidence to win her heart, but that means spending the money in greater quantities.

And the crooks behind the forgeries are certain to want their money back...

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