GenreComedy Running time1h 26m CinematographyJack Cardiff, Jack E. Cox LanguageEnglish
Release date1958 WriterJohn Baines, Patrick Campbell (additional material) CastIan Carmichael (Willie Frith), Belinda Lee (Gloria), Kathleen Harrison (Mrs Frith), Robert Helpmann (The Reverend), Leslie Phillips (Receptionist), James Hayter (Mr Frith) Similar moviesRelated John Paddy Carstairs movies
The Big Money is a 1958 British comedy film directed by John Paddy Carstairs and starring Ian Carmichael, Belinda Lee and Kathleen Harrison.
Diana Dors was originally cast as Gloria but turned down the role because she did not want to work with Joseph Janni. Once the film was completed its release was delayed for several years because Sir John Davis did not believe it was sufficiently funny.
Willie (Ian Carmichael) is the bad seed of a family of thieves (James Hayter, Kathleen Harrison and Jill Ireland). One day, he steals a briefcase from a dodgy clergyman (Robert Helpmann), which is full of pound notes. Unfortunately, the notes all have the same serial number!
He is seduced by "the big money" and starts passing the counterfeits, one bill at a time. Much of his need for money is to impress Gloria (Belinda Lee), the pretty barmaid at his local pub. She dreams of the millionaire who will come and give her the good life. Unfortunately, he cannot pass the fake money fast enough to keep up with her wants.
When she helps herself to some of the counterfeit money, it gets the attention of the police and the mobsters. It all ends in a free-for-all, between the police, Arabs, and mobsters, in disguise. Finally, she has to decide whether she loves him or his money.