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Dry Rot (film)

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Director  Maurice Elvey
Music director  Peter Akister
Language  English
6.2/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy
Screenplay  John Chapman
Country  United Kingdom
Dry Rot (film) movie poster
Release date  31 October 1956 (1956-10-31)
Writer  John T. Chapman (play), John T. Chapman (screenplay)
Initial release  October 31, 1956 (United Kingdom)
Cast  Ronald Shiner, Brian Rix, Peggy Mount, Lee Patterson
Similar movies  Related Maurice Elvey movies

Dry Rot is a 1956 British comedy film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Ronald Shiner, Brian Rix, Peggy Mount and Sid James.


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The story is an adaptation of a 1954 Whitehall farce by John Chapman who also wrote the screenplay, in which the sketchy story plays second fiddle to the quick-paced action and unlikely situations. The plot concerns the practice of illicit gambling which was illegal in the United Kingdom at the time.

Three dodgy bookies, Alf Tubbe (Ronald Shiner), Flash Harry (Sidney James) and Fred Phipps (Brian Rix), plan to rig a horse race by kidnapping the fancied horse and its French jockey. They stay at a country house hotel near the racecourse, run by Colonel and Mrs Wagstaff, where they conceal the horse Sweet Lavender (and later the jockey) in a hidden cellar.

A subplot sees the dimwitted Fred fall in love with the hotel chambermaid Beth (Joan Sims).

The title Dry Rot refers to the rotten wood on the hotel stairs, which regularly catches every character unawares.

Dry rot brian rix farce 78 rpm hmv 102 comedy sketch


  • Ronald Shiner as Alf Tubbe
  • Brian Rix as Fred Phipps
  • Peggy Mount as Sergeant Fire
  • Lee Patterson as Danby
  • Sid James as Flash Harry
  • Joan Sims as Beth Barton
  • Heather Sears as Susan
  • Michael Shepley as Colonel Wagstaff
  • Joan Haythorne as Mrs. Wagstaff
  • Miles Malleson as Yokel
  • Christian Duvaleix as Polignac
  • John Roy Chapman as Claude
  • Joan Benham as Blonde
  • Raymond Glendenning as himself
  • Fred Griffiths as Bookie
  • Wilfred Brambell as Tar Man
  • Locations

    The horse-racing sequences was filmed at Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury-on-Thames.

    Critical reception

  • The Radio Times critic wrote, "this tale of crooked bookies plods along more slowly than a doped horse, but there is the compensation of the polished performances of expert farceurs Ronald Shiner, Brian Rix and Sid James."
  • Sky Movies wrote, "Heather Sears makes her screen debut, Joan Sims giggles infectiously and the charms of Shirley Ann Field can be very briefly glimpsed as a waitress at the Three Frogs Cafe. But Peggy Mount sweeps all else before her in a relatively short, but devastating appearance as the indomitable Sergeant Fire."
  • References

    Dry Rot (film) Wikipedia
    Dry Rot (film) IMDb Dry Rot (film)