The Wrong Arm of the Law

The Wrong Arm of the Law

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Cliff Owen
Produced by E.M. Smedley Aston
Aubrey Baring
Written by John Antrobus
Ray Galton
Len Heath
Starring Peter Sellers
Lionel Jeffries
Bernard Cribbins
John Le Mesurier
Bill Kerr
Music by Richard Rodney Bennett
Cinematography Ernest Steward
Edited by Tristam Cones
Distributed by British Lion Films (UK)
Release dates
14 March 1963 (London, West End)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Wrong Arm of the Law is a 1963 British comedy film directed by Cliff Owen and starring Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins, Lionel Jeffries, John Le Mesurier and Bill Kerr. It was written in part by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and made by Romulus Films.

The film opened at the Warner Theatre in London's West End on 14 March 1963.[1]


In London, a gang of criminals from Australia led by Jack Coombes (Bill Kerr) impersonate policemen to carry out robberies. Local gang leader "Pearly" Gates (Sellers), who operates from the cover of a French couturier, finds his takings cut severely, and blames rival crook "Nervous" O'Toole (Bernard Cribbins). When it emerges that they are both being scammed by the same gang, they join forces, along with Lionel Jeffries' Police Inspector "Nosey" Parker, to bring the so-called "I.P.O. mob" (I.P.O. - Impersonating a Police Officer) to justice. Nanette Newman provides the love interest, the ubiquitous John Le Mesurier plays a senior policeman, and a young Michael Caine has a small and uncredited role as a young PC. Other uncredited roles include John Junkin (Maurice), Dennis Price (Educated Ernest), Cardew Robinson (Mailman), Dick Emery (Man in Flat 307), Mario Fabrizi (Van Driver), John Harvey (Police Station Sergeant), Harold Siddons (PC in Basement Garage), Jack Silk (Police Station PC), Derek Guyler (non-speaking PC at Scotland Yard), Gerald Sim (Airfield Official) and Marianne Stone (Woman in Front Row at Gangsters' Meeting).


Production and reception

Many of the robbery scenes were filmed around Uxbridge Moor. The film features an Aston Martin DB4 GT.

The film was one of the 12 most popular movies at the British box office in 1963.[2]


  1. The Times, 14 March 1963, Page 2
  2. "Most Popular Films Of 1963." Times [London, England] 3 Jan. 1964: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
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