Rent Only Two Can Play (1962)

3.5 of 5 from 57 ratings
1h 42min
Rent Only Two Can Play Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Welsh librarian John Lewis (Peter Sellers), unhappily married to Jean Lewis (Virginia Maskell), falls in love with the glamorous Elizabeth Gruffydd Williams (Mai Zetterling). Liz is likewise saddled with a dull spouse, wealthy Vernon Gruffyd-Williams (Raymond Huntley). Finding themselves to be kindred spirits, John and Liz plan an illicit affair. Alas, none of their carefully calculated schemes for a romantic tryst come to fruition thanks to a series of comic (but utterly credible) complications. John ultimately concludes that adultery simply isn't worth the bother.
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Leslie Gilliat
Bryan Forbes, Kingsley Amis
Classics, Comedy, Drama, Romance
All the Twos: 1902-62, Richard Attenborough: A Centenary Special Instant Expert's Guide, Top 10 Tennis Films
Release Date:
Run Time:
102 minutes
English Mono, English Stereo
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
B & W

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Reviews (1) of Only Two Can Play

Very Dated but Enjoyable Welsh-Set Film from 1961/2. - Only Two Can Play review by PV

Spoiler Alert

Yes, this is very dated - based on 1950s Kingsley Amis novel THAT CERTAIN FEELING which, like his earlier LUCKY JIM, is set in Swansea, South Wales (and filmed there), and portrays that generation that fought in the war in the 1950s when they are the first in their families to go to university and enter the professions.

This was made in 1961 and released in 1962, but feels more 1950s than anything else.

It is fascinating to see how people put up with basic living conditions and incomes at that time - which would be called dire poverty now. It is also refreshing to see much more ordinary and normal male/female relations than the rather misandrist and hysterical MeToo puritanism of now, which is very weird, actually. Nice to see a couple making a go at marriage too - how unlike these days. Not so good is everybody smoking all the time, and no seat belts worn in cars of course.

Anyway, I enjoyed it - and the rather corrupt Welsh culture it portrays still exists today, with its petty nationalists, its local authors (there are rare unsigned copies of their state-subsidised books still available somewhere), very amateur dramatics etc (the novel apparently is far less forgiving of the pretentious Welsh actors and writers). Richard Attenborough does aturn as pretentious Welshish Welsh author. The Welsh language brigade is sent up on their corrupt little committee.

So I found it all fun, and know that making such a film today would be impossible. Peter Sellers is always wonderful in any film, even his weakest roles. His strongest roles such as Dr Strangelove and I'm Alright Jack are sublime.

3.5 stars rounded up.

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