Rotten to the Core
UK campaign book
Directed byJohn Boulting
Written byRoy Boulting
Jeffrey Dell
Len Heath
John Warren
Produced byRoy Boulting
StarringAnton Rodgers
Charlotte Rampling
Eric Sykes
Ian Bannen
CinematographyFreddie Young
Edited byTeddy Darvas
Music byMichael Dress
Distributed byBritish Lion
Release date
14 July 1965 UK
Running time
89 mins
CountryUnited Kingdom

Rotten to the Core is a 1965 black and white British comedy film directed by John Boulting, and co-written and produced by his brother Roy Boulting. It stars Anton Rodgers, Charlotte Rampling, Eric Sykes and Ian Bannen. The film received a BAFTA nomination for Alex Vetchinsky's production design.[1]

It was Charlotte Rampling's first credited role and she plays the main female lead.

The principal comedy sections are supplied by Eric Sykes in various guises as an undercover policeman.


Upon finishing a prison sentence, a trio of crooks go in search of their one-time leader, known as "The Duke", who was supposed to safeguard their share of the money which was never recovered. However, the Duke's girlfriend Sara tells them the Duke is dead and the money is long gone. Later, the gang discover that she's lying, and that the Duke has set up a spa, the Hope Springs Nature Clinic, as a front. The Duke is planning a major heist with some criminal cronies.[2]

The complex plot involves the police, the British Army, officers of the German army and a complicated deception by means of rail, with real German army officers being tricked into getting off the train one stop early, to be replaced by criminals in their guise. Leading the army group is Lt Vine who is successfully deceived by the whole affair (aided by Sara feeding him false information) and he has to bear the brunt of the blame.



The film was based on an original idea by Roy Boulting which he got when recuperating from a broken neck in 1964. "Call it a cynical comment on organised thievery today," he said. Filming started in February 1965 at Shepperton Studios. They deliberately used little known actors in the film.[3]

Critical reception


  1. ^ "BAFTA Awards".
  2. ^ Karl Williams (2014). "Rotten-to-the-Core - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  3. ^ Focus on 'Rotten' Crime in Britain By A.H. WEILER. New York Times 28 Feb 1965: X9
  4. ^ "Rotten to the Core | review, synopsis, book tickets, showtimes, movie release date | Time Out London". Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Rotten to the Core". Variety. 31 December 1964. Retrieved 10 March 2014.

Rotten to the Core at IMDb