The Dock Brief

Watch The Dock Brief

"This is NOT the Birdman of Alcatraz!..It's only Peter Sellers with his sly, sneaky style of humor that creeps up on you and the leaves you wanting more."
  • 1962
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.2  (590)

The Dock Brief is a British comedy-drama movie that was released in 1962. The film stars the legendary actor Peter Sellers, Richard Attenborough, and Beryl Reid in leading roles. The Dock Brief was directed by James Hill, who also co-wrote the screenplay along with John Mortimer. The movie is set inside an old-fashioned court in the United Kingdom and follows the trial of a man accused of murder.

The storyline of the movie revolves around a poor and unsuccessful criminal barrister named Wilfred Morgenhall (Richard Attenborough). Morgenhall is approached by a scruffy, unkempt, and rather eccentric petty thief named Alfred Edward Green (Peter Sellers). Green has been accused of murdering his wife and believes that he is about to be sentenced to death. Green has no faith in the judicial system and believes that his trial is merely a formality before he is sent to the gallows.

Morgenhall, despite being suspicious of Alfred's guilt, is desperate to win the case and restore his reputation as a successful barrister. He takes on the case and tries to present a unique defense, which he believes could lead to Alfred's acquittal. Morgenhall's approach is to ask Alfred to explain the events that led up to his wife's death, in the hopes of finding some reasonable doubt in his testimony.

The Dock Brief is unique in the sense that it is practically a two-man show, with the majority of the movie's runtime involving the funny interactions between Attenborough and Sellers' characters. Despite being accused of murder, Alfred is a very entertaining character whose larger-than-life personality and humor often overshadow his situation. Meanwhile, Morgenhall's character is portrayed as bumbling and uncertain, constantly getting confused and frustrated by Alfred's unusual behavior.

Throughout the movie, the duo engages in hilarious exchanges as they plot their defense, resulting in several funny scenes. The film's climax takes place in the court, where Morgenhall presents his defense and hopes to sway the judge and jury in favor of his client. Whether or not he will be successful in his efforts remains to be seen.

One of the most striking aspects of The Dock Brief is its hilarious script, which is filled with witty dialogue and comic caricatures. The movie is genuinely funny and provides viewers with several laugh-out-loud moments. At the same time, The Dock Brief is also a poignant film that effectively portrays the flaws of the judicial system and the struggles of marginalized individuals.

In terms of performances, Peter Sellers and Richard Attenborough deliver top-notch acting that is simply outstanding. Both actors display a great deal of humor, emotion and depth that make the characters of Alfred and Morgenhall seem like real individuals with distinct personalities and quirks.

Lastly, The Dock Brief is an example of cinematography that is both intricate and minimalistic. The director, James Hill, makes excellent use of the set design and lighting to create a sense of atmosphere that is both gloomy and engaging, highlighting the movie's themes of isolation and hopelessness.

In summary, The Dock Brief is an entertaining and thought-provoking movie that warrants more attention than it has received. The combination of witty humor, engaging performances, and genuinely touching moments make it a must-watch for fans of British cinema.

The Dock Brief
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (590)