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The Big Job (1965)

An inept gang of bank robbers, led by George The Brain, are caught and sentenced to 15 years hard labour each. When they are released from prison they start out to collect the money they ... See full summary »


Gerald Thomas


Talbot Rothwell (screenplay), John Antrobus (from an original story)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ... George Brain
Sylvia Syms ... Myrtle Robbins
Dick Emery Dick Emery ... Frederick 'Booky' Binns
Joan Sims ... Mildred Gamely
Lance Percival Lance Percival ... Timothy 'Dipper' Day
Jim Dale ... Harold
Edina Ronay ... Sally Gamely
Deryck Guyler ... Police Sergeant
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Register Office Official
Michael Ward Michael Ward ... Undertaker
Brian Rawlinson Brian Rawlinson ... Henry Blobbitt
David Horne ... Judge
Frank Forsyth ... Bank Cashier
Frank Thornton ... Bank Official
Wanda Ventham ... Dot Franklin


An inept gang of bank robbers, led by George The Brain, are caught and sentenced to 15 years hard labour each. When they are released from prison they start out to collect the money they had stolen and which George had hidden in a hollow tree during the chase in which they were caught. The only trouble is that the tree was in the middle of a lonely lane when they were imprisoned; now, 15 years later, the tree is in the backyard of a Police Station... Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

heist | independent film | See All (2) »


WANTED in connection with THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY otherwise know as...


Comedy | Mystery


See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 November 1967 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Atraco imperfecto See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At the end of the film, Joan Sims as new head of the gang, plans to rob a train from Edinburgh with used bank notes worth five million pounds. This film was made two years after the Great Train Robbery, however that train was from Glasgow and was carrying 2.6 million pounds in used bank notes. Joan also mentions changing the signal to red which occurred during the Great Train Robbery. Also Sidney James' character's name is Brain, hence the Great Brain Robbery. These are all obvious references to the Great Train Robbery. See more »


The wire to pull the harpoon out of the harpoon-gun can be clearly seen in the shot just before the first one is fired into the tree. See more »


[the robbers discover that the tree where George hid the money is now in the car-park of a new police station]
Timothy 'Dipper' Day: We 'aven't done anything wrong. It's *our* money. *We* stole it.
George Brain: [sarcastically] You're right. You're absolutely right. All you've got to do is go in there and say "Excuse me, Sarge, but fifteen years ago we happen to have left fifty thousand nicker in your tree. Can we have it back please?"
See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'U' rating. See more »


Featured in Talkies: Jim Moir (Vic Reeves Takes Over): Part 1 (2017) See more »


Policeman's Song
from "The Pirates of Penzance"
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Sung by Jim Dale (Harold) and the police choir, and used as a theme during the film.
See more »

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User Reviews

An Ealing type of tale from the Carry On team
30 November 2015 | by sol-See all my reviews

Produced by the team behind the 'Carry On' films and starring many regulars, 'The Big Job' has often been cited as unofficial entry in the series, but the set-up is much more of the Ealing variety. 'The Ladykillers' and 'The Lavender Hill Mob' form the template as a gang of criminals rent a room under false pretences, claiming to be birdwatchers when they are really interested in a nearby tree where they stashed some loot before serving time; whilst behind bars though, a police station has been built around the tree! The film chiefly derives laughs from the gang's failed attempts to rescue the money and the utter oblivion of the police force. This is an uneasy combination (the plot hinges on neither side possessing common sense) but there are many hilarious moments as all cast members are in fine form. Half a decade before his 'Please, Sir' days, Deryck Guyler is especially funny as the stuffy lead police sergeant, and Sid James, Joan Sims and Dick Emery as expectedly great. Sylvia Sims has a bit of thankless role as Sid's girlfriend, and the film as its weakest when focused on their marriage of a convenience (as well as a latter similar marriage) but for the most part, the irony of the basic set-up thankfully remains in focus. This is where the film succeeds best with an interesting message in terms of crime never paying (the ultimate fate of the money is a great twist too). Those expecting something as clever as 'The Lavender Hill Mob' or 'Carry On Camping' might be disappointed, but 'The Big Job' is a fairly solid film on its own terms, some incredulous silliness aside.

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