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Nothing But the Best (1964)

Success has James Brewster's name written all over it, and he also has his heart set on his boss' daughter. A con artist hires him to help out on a bank scheme, but then again, James will ... See full summary »


Clive Donner


Frederic Raphael (screenplay), Stanley Ellin (based on a short story by)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Bates ... Jimmy Brewster
Denholm Elliott ... Charlie Prince
Harry Andrews ... Mr. Horton
Millicent Martin ... Ann / Ann Horton
Pauline Delaney ... Mrs. March
Godfrey Quigley ... Coates
Alison Leggatt Alison Leggatt ... Mrs. Brewster
Lucinda Curtis ... Nadine
Nigel Stock ... Ferris
James Villiers ... Hugh
Drewe Henley ... Denis
Avice Landone ... Mrs. Horton (as Avice Landon)
Ernest Clark ... Roberts
William Rushton William Rushton ... Gerry
Peter Madden ... Ex-Politician


Success has James Brewster's name written all over it, and he also has his heart set on his boss' daughter. A con artist hires him to help out on a bank scheme, but then again, James will do anything to get rich and be the most successful businessman in Britian, even if it means murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Make Room at the Top for Nothing But The Best! See more »




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Release Date:

13 July 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oro y barro See more »

Filming Locations:

Richmond, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Domino Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Stanley Ellin's original short story was also adapted for television as an episode of Tales of the Unexpected (1979) (1979). It was the first episode of the fourth season, and starred Michael Kitchen and Jeremy Clyde. See more »


Charlie Prince: When one does absolutely nothing, it is vitally important to keep fit.
See more »

Crazy Credits



Title Song
(Nothing But The Best)
Sung by Millicent Martin
To Music by Ron Grainer and Lyrics by Frederic Raphael
See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant satire
14 May 2002 | by trendell-1See all my reviews

I saw this film in 1964 when it was first released; and it is still the only film that I have sat through for two consecutive showings. I thought it was brilliant, sharp and very funny. Alan Bates, then a major international star, was at his very best: funny, cynical, cold, vicious, everything the role required. The supporting cast - led by Millicent Martin, Harry Andrews, Denholm Elliott - were also superb.

Jimmy Brewster (Bates) is, to use the derogatory upper-class term, "an ambitious yob", a working-class chap toiling anonymously at his desk in a large real-estate company and wanting better things, when one day he has an accidental encounter in a restaurant with Charlie Prince (Elliott), the disgraced son of Brewster's employer. As Charlie puts it, "One day a black cloud appeared in my office, and shortly after that I departed under it." Charlie is a worthless wastrel, but he has one skill: he can show Jimmy how to dress and talk properly and to be a "gentleman". The trade-off is that Jimmy will give Charlie a place to live and money for expenses. Charlie is a good teacher and Jimmy is a brilliant student, conning everyone in sight, slowly climbing the ladder to success. Then one day, Charlie asks Jimmy to lay a large bet for him - with Jimmy's money - on a horse, and the horse wins, at astronomical odds. Charlie is very much in the money again, and decides he doesn't need Jimmy any longer. But Jimmy turns the tables, does away with Charlie, and keeps the money for himself. And continues his climb up the corporate and social ladders, all the way to the top. Along the way he woos Charlie's sister, Ann (Millicent Martin), and marries her. In a memorable scene, while courting Ann, Jimmy takes her to massive country estate that is conveniently empty, pretending that it belongs to his family. Ann looks at the magnificent place, suitably impressed, smiles at Jimmy and delivers one of the best lines in the film: "Darling, how did you know my size?"

And then Charlie's body is found, and perhaps the ruthless, if charming, Jimmy is about to come a-cropper. Or perhaps not.

It's a brilliant film on all levels. The great tragedy is that it appears to be no longer available, on film or on video/DVD. If I could find the magic lamp, and be granted one filmic wish, "Nothing But The Best" would be in general distribution on DVD next week.

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