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A Jolly Bad Fellow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Jolly Bad Fellow
Directed byDon Chaffey
Produced byDonald Taylor
Screenplay byRobert Hamer
Donald Taylor
Based onDon Among the Dead Men
1952 novel
by C. E. Vulliamy
StarringLeo McKern
Music byJohn Barry
CinematographyGerald Gibbs
Edited byPeter Tanner
Pax Films
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Release date
  • 1964 (1964)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

A Jolly Bad Fellow (US: They all Died Laughing) is a 1964 British black comedy film directed by Don Chaffey. It stars Leo McKern and Janet Munro.[1]



Kerris Bowles-Ottery is professor of science at the University of Ockham. To advance his career he poisons inconvenient colleagues with an untraceable substance he has discovered that induces hysteria and manic behaviour followed by death. His research assistant, Delia, blackmails him into a promise of marriage, but he remains attached to his wife, and poisons Delia. When the police arrive at his home to question him he flees in his car but fatally crashes it as a result of smoking a poisoned cigarette that his wife has unknowlngly brought from his laboratory.[1]


In a 2017 study of Bryanston Films, Duncan Petrie writes that the film did not make "any impact either commercially or critically"[2] When the film was released in the US (under the title They All Died Laughing), The New York Times called it "nonconformist but not especially side-splitting" although having "a deftly casual air about it as well as the polish of professionalism".[3]


  1. ^ a b c "A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964)", British Film Institute. Retrieved 30 April 2021
  2. ^ Petrie, Duncan James (2017). "Bryanston Films : An Experiment in Cooperative Independent Production and Distribution" (PDF). Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: 12. ISSN 1465-3451.
  3. ^ "Comedy at the Coronet", The New York Times, 16 March 1964

External links

This page was last edited on 30 April 2021, at 08:16
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