|Crooks in Cloisters|
|Directed by||Jeremy Summers|
|Written by||T.J. Morrison|
|Produced by||Gordon Scott|
|Edited by||Ann Chegwidden|
|Music by||Don Banks|
|Distributed by||Warner-Pathé Distributors|
Crooks in Cloisters is a 1964 British comedy which features Ronald Fraser as 'Little Walter', the leader of a gang of forgers, including Barbara Windsor as 'Bikini', Bernard Cribbins as 'Squirts', Melvyn Hayes as 'Willy', Grégoire Aslan as 'Lorenzo', and Davy Kaye as 'Specs'.
After pulling off a train robbery by tricking the train into stopping with false signal lights, 'Little Walter' and his gang are forced to hide out on a remote Cornish island in a monastery (which they buy with their "ill-gotten gains"), disguised as monks. With them comes 'Bikini' (Barbara Windsor), Walter's girlfriend, who is given the job of cook to the group, despite never having cooked in her life. After a few initial setbacks, they slowly adjust to their new contemplative life of tending animals and crops, surviving the added tribulations of visits by a group of tourists and two of the real monks who had been forced to sell the monastery after falling on hard times, including Brother Lucius (Corin Redgrave).
Gradually, the gang adjusts to its new pastoral life, which turns out to be much to their liking. A return to a life in the city is less appealing by the day. With the help of Phineas (Wilfrid Brambell), a fisherman, they continue to receive and dispose of stolen goods. The crooks change and are kinder and gentler, but 'Brother' Squirts begins to place bets on the dogs and the police become suspicious. When Walter decides it is safe to leave, none of them want to go, including Willy (Hayes), who has fallen for June (Francesca Annis), Phineas's granddaughter; these two manage to get away safely together. Walter gives the deeds of the island to the real monks who had originally owned it, and just as the rest of the gang say goodbye, they see the police waiting for them.
Crooks in Cloisters was filmed at the Associated British Picture Studios at Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, and at St Mawes in Cornwall. The harbour is Portloe. The opening train robbery sequence involves British Rail class 4 diesel locomotive D140 (later to become class 46 under TOPS) at an as-yet unidentified location. The exteriors sequences for the monastery were filmed around the grounds of Ashridge House in Ashridge near Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire.