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One of the lesser known spy thrillers of the late sixties, Otley (1968) takes a much more droll, satirical approach to the genre by thrusting an ordinary character a la a Hitchcock thriller into a complex espionage situation. According to the authors of The Eurospy Guide this British film has "a smart and witty script" and is a "spy spoof that succeeds where others have failed...It's refreshing to discover a film of this period that doesn't cross the film too often into camp and one that is genuinely (and intentionally) funny. There are lots of throwaway lines to keep you laughing."
Britmovie calls Otley an "entertaining if uneven comedy-thriller adapted from the Martin Waddell comic novels by TV writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Director Clement keeps events unfolding at a brisk pace and the meandering plot never ceases in finding embarrassing predicaments for the hapless Otley. Tom Courtenay creates a sympathetic character out of the cowardly, sardonic, petty thief who finds himself in the dangerous world of espionage. There's marvellous support from both Leonard Rossiter and Freddie Jones." And the gorgeous Romy Schneider provides the love interest.
Producer: Bruce Cohn Curtis
Director: Dick Clement
Screenplay: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais (screenplay); Martin Waddell (novel)
Cinematography: Austin Dempster
Art Direction: Carmen Dillon
Music: Stanley Myers
Film Editing: Richard Best
Cast: Tom Courtenay (Gerald Arthur Otley), Romy Schneider (Imogen), Alan Badel (Sir Alex Hadrian), James Villiers (Hendrickson), Leonard Rossiter (Johnson), Freddie Jones (Philip Proudfoot), Fiona Lewis (Lin), James Bolam (Albert), James Cossins (Geffcock), James Maxwell (Rollo).