A black comic novel about the last remaining survivors of a tontine - a group life-insurance policy in which the last surviving member stands to receive a fortune. It is a farcical, eccentric and brilliantly written piece of work.
Release Date: 27 May 1966
Running Time: 107 minutes
John Mills as Masterman Finsbury
Ralph Richardson as Joseph Finsbury
Michael Caine as Michael Finsbury
Peter Cook as Morris Finsbury
Dudley Moore as John Finsbury
Nanette Newman as Julia Finsbury
Peter Sellers as Dr. Pratt
Tony Hancock as Detective
Wilfrid Lawson as Peacock
Thorley Walters as Lawyer Patience
Cicely Courtneidge as Major Martha
Diane Clare as Mercy
Gerald Sim as First Undertaker
Irene Handl as Mrs. Hackett
John Le Mesurier as Dr. Slattery
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.
Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson's popularity and allow him a place in the Western canon.
On December 3rd, 1894, he died of an apparent cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 44.
Osbourne was born in San Francisco, California, on 7 April 1868 to Samuel Osbourne and Fanny Van de Grift. While Osbourne was still quite young his mother married the well-known writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Osbourne accompanied his parents on their frequent travels, and was educated by private tutors in England, France, and Switzerland. He later attended Edinburgh University, where he studied civil engineering. Further travels with Stevenson after his departure from Edinburgh took Osbourne to Samoa. There he served as U.S. vice consul-general until 1897. In the late 1880s, Osbourne began his literary collaboration with his stepfather. Together the two produced three novels: The Wrong Box, The Wrecker, and The Ebb-Tide. After Stevenson's death, Osbourne wrote several more novels, including The Adventurer, Infatuation, and A Person of Some Importance, and produced a collection of short fiction, Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas. Later in his career he wrote, along with his nephew Austin Strong, several dramas. Osbourne died in 1947.
Robert Louis Stevenson