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A tontine is established for twenty boys in 1818 England, a tontine being a kind of insurance wager in which money is invested by each participant, to grow with interest, with the last survivor to get the substantial payout. We watch the group dwindle until only two elderly brothers are left in 1882. One brother is watched by his nephews who will keep him alive at all costs. The other lives in ill health and poverty as the only support of his perpetually confused grandson. Statues and bodies are switched, in the wrong boxes, until everyone is sure that one (or both) of the brothers has died. Now if they can only make it seem as if the other brother died first, over a hundred thousand pounds sterling (in Victorian England, when a pound was a pound) will be theirs.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Sixties take offs of the Victorian era are usually very entertaining. All of the clichés of repression and morbidity are always very over the top and they are here. A woman falls madly in love with a man when she sees his arms, the salvation army stick their nose into everything. It is perhaps more insightful into the sixties than anything! This is by no means a master piece, frankly with such a stellar cast it is rather disappointing. The script tries too hard to be funny and the gags come too thick and fast , especially at the end, for the viewer to be able to follow, certainly it is very unlike the slower, more leisurely pace of Stevenson's book.
However it is certainly worth watching. If nothing else it contains one of my favourite lines ever 'Listen to me all you eggs'!
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