Otley


1h 31m 1969

Brief Synopsis

A petty crook finds himself mistaken for a murderer and a secret agent.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Thriller
Spy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 Mar 1969
Production Company
Bruce Cohn Curtis Films; Highroad Productions, Inc.; Open Road Films, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Otley by Martin Waddell (London, 1966).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

Lacking a place to sleep, Gerald Arthur Otley, an easygoing drifter who dabbles in petty thievery and womanizing, beds down at the flat of a friend who, unknown to him, is involved in smuggling state secrets. During the night, the friend is murdered, and Otley, suffering from a dreadful hangover, wakes up 2 days later in the middle of an airfield. After returning to London and learning that he is wanted by the police, he is kidnaped, interrogated, and beaten up by Hendrickson, an arrogant bully, and Imogen, a beautiful woman. They release Otley, and he falls into the hands of an effeminate spy, Philip Proudfoot, who turns him over to still another agent, Johnston, for extermination. Otley, it seems, lifted a tobacco holder from his murdered friend, unaware that it contained a tape-recorded message which is wanted by all of his captors. Baffled, Otley turns himself over to the police in the hope of finding a little peace and safety. But Imogen has him released and explains to him that she is a member of Sir Alec Hadrian's Parliament-sanctioned counter-spy organization. Following several more murders and aborted blackmail schemes, Otley is sent to a health farm to trap a treacherous double agent. Although Hendrickson is suspected, Sir Alec is eventually exposed as the true villain. No longer of use to either spy faction, the battered and confused Otley looks with disgust at his brief fling at espionage and returns happily to his Soho life of petty thievery--and the comfort of a Thames houseboat belonging to his girl friend, Lin.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Thriller
Spy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 Mar 1969
Production Company
Bruce Cohn Curtis Films; Highroad Productions, Inc.; Open Road Films, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Otley by Martin Waddell (London, 1966).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Otley


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).
C-91m.

Otley

Otley

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). C-91m.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Released in Great Britain in 1968; location scenes filmed in and around London.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring March 1969

Released in United States Spring March 1969