Crooks and Coronets (1969): O’Connolly’s Crime Comedy, Starring Telly Savalas, Edith Evans, Warren Oates, Cesar Romero

From Our Vaults:

Jim O’Connolly wrote and directed Crooks and Coronets, a British crime comedy starring Telly Savalas, Edith Evans, Warren Oates, Cesar Romero and Harry H. Corbett.

The film was renamed as Sophie’s Place for the US market.

Two recently released convicts, Herbie Haseler and Marty Miller, go to work for New York mob boss Nick Marco.

Marco sends them to England to rob a large English mansion,  owned by the elderly eccentric, Lady Sophie Fitzmore, who plans to pass the mansion and its treasures on to her nephew, Freddie Fritzmore.

Sophie owns a male lion, ‘Bo-Bo,’ who guards the estate. Herbie and Marty tour the mansion and ingratiate themselves with the old lady, and she invites them to live with her.

Herbie and Marty also meet Frank Finley, the London mob contact for Nick Marco. Herbie, Marty and Finley plan the robbery and the escape route, and make general arrangements for Marco’s arrival for the heist.

Over time, Herbie and Marty grow fond of Lady Sophie, Freddie, and at the last minute, they decide not to go through with the robbery.

Sharply uneven, the movie suffers from inconsistent tone and pacing, but the acting is good and Edith Evans again proves she can handle any kind of material with professional facility.

Telly Savalas as Herbie Haseler
Edith Evans as Lady Sophie Fitzmore
Warren Oates as Marty Miller
Cesar Romero as Nick Marco
Harry H. Corbett as Frank Finley
Nicky Henson as Lord Freddie Fitzmore
Hattie Jacques as Mabel
Vickery Turner as Annie
Arthur Mullard as Perce
Frank Thornton as Cyril
Thorley Walters as Hubbard
Jeremy Young as Reilly
Leslie Dwyer as Henry
Clive Dunn as Basil
David Bauer as Jack
Ivor Dean as Bellows
David Lodge as Policeman


TCM showed the movie on Sep 2, 2021.