Jazz Boat
Jazz Boat (1960).jpg
British quad poster
Directed byKen Hughes
Written byJohn Antrobus
Ken Hughes
Based onnovel by Rex Rienits
Produced byAlbert R. Broccoli
Harold Huth
StarringAnthony Newley
Anne Aubrey
Bernie Winters
James Booth
CinematographyTed Moore
Nicolas Roeg
Edited byGeoffrey Foot
Music byKenneth V. Jones
Distributed byColumbia Pictures (UK)
Columbia Pictures (US)
Release date
February 1960
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Jazz Boat is a 1960 British musical comedy film directed by Ken Hughes and starring Anthony Newley, Anne Aubrey, Lionel Jeffries and big band leader Ted Heath and his orchestra.

Many of the cast and the same director then made In the Nick (1960).


Electrician Bert Harris (Anthony Newley) boasts that he's a successful cat burglar, which leads to him getting mixed up with real thieves who need those special skills for a big jewellery heist. However, Bert was only giving them a "song and dance" about being a cat burglar, but now discovers it's too late to back out.



It was based on a novel by Rex Rienits. Rienits later admitted he disliked writing novels but was in a career slump so decided to write a novel to sell to the movies.[1]

Filming started 15 June, 1959.[2] A scene involving more than 200 extras was shot at Chiselhurst Caves, Kent; on that night the payroll was stolen meaning they could not be paid.[3]

Critical reception

Variety called it "an odd assoilment of romance, jazz, musical comedy and youthful crimeas What comes out is largely chaos although some of it is infectiously amusing. Mostly it s vague, disjointed and purposeless. Director Ken Hughes may have been making some sort of an attempt at parodv of American crime pix."[4]

The MFB called it "a lively, muddle headed British musical."[5] TV Guide wrote, "While imitating American gangster films, this simple picture also provides a look at the British "Teddy Boy" subcultureassome amusing situations, though none is particularly memorable";[6] while Leonard Maltin called it an "Energetic caper."[7]

Filmink said it "starts out as a crime drama then weirdly turns into a musical (complete with dance numbers) then back into a crime drama again/"[8]


  1. ^ Clark, Russell (14 September 1961). "The Bush Boy Who Wrote Outcasts". TV Times. p. 8-9.
  2. ^ "Decca Gets Jazz Boat". Cash Box. 20 June 1959. p. 49.
  3. ^ "No roll for rock n rollers". The Age. 2 July 1959. p. 4.
  4. ^ Review of film at Variety
  5. ^ JAZZ BOAT Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 27, Iss. 312, (Jan 1, 1960): 32.
  6. ^ "Jazz Boat".
  7. ^ "Jazz Boat (1960) - Overview - TCM.com".
  8. ^ Vagg, Stephen (14 November 2020). "Ken Hughes Forgotten Auteur". Filmink.