It's Not Cricket (1949 film)

It's Not Cricket is a 1949 British comedy film directed by Alfred Roome and starring Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Susan Shaw and Maurice Denham. It is the second (after 1941's Crook's Tour) of two starring films for Radford and Wayne who appeared as supporting players in ten other films.[1] It was also one of the final films made by Gainsborough Pictures before the studio was merged into the Rank Organisation.

It's Not Cricket
British pressbook
Directed byAlfred Roome
Roy Rich
Produced byBetty E. Box
Peter Rogers
Written byGerard Bryant
Lyn Lockwood
Bernard McNabb
StarringBasil Radford
Naunton Wayne
Susan Shaw
Maurice Denham
Music byArthur Wilkinson
CinematographyGordon Lang
Edited byEsmond Seal
Distributed byGainsborough Pictures
Release date
April 1949
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Major Bright and Captain Early are intelligence officers in the British army of occupation in post-World War 2 Germany. They are sent home on leave, but fail to notice that their new batman is actually wanted war criminal Otto Fisch. He vanishes on arrival in England and the two officers are punished by early demobilisation. Uncertain what to do in civvy street, they decide to utilise the "skills" they learned in the army and set up a private detective agency, "Bright and Early". They engage a secretary, Primrose Brown, but she's not very busy as they have as yet no clients.

Primrose's boyfriend/fiancee invites them all to a weekend country house party for a cricket match. But what they don't know is that the cricket ball they buy in London actually contains a valuable stolen diamond that Fisch has purloined. It has been hidden in the hollow ball by his friend and protector Mr Felix, who runs a sporting goods shop.

As the match gets under way, Fisch and Felix watch from the cover of the trees and manage to infiltrate the game, stealing the ball. A free-for-all chase ensues; Bright and Early manage to recover the ball and the diamond. They now become celebrities and don't lack for eager clients. Fisch is finally seen working for the detective agency, the two detectives still apparently unaware of his identity.


Critical reception

It was one of 15 films selected by Steve Chibnall and Brian McFarlane in The British 'B' Film, their survey of British B films, as among the most meritorious of the B films made in Britain between World War II and 1970. They said it contained "some of the most humorous moments in a British film of the period", and praised the performances, Maurice Denham's in particular.[2]


  1. It's Not Cricket at BFI Film & TV Database
  2. Steve Chibnall & Brian McFarlane, The British 'B' Film, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2009, pp. 265–66.
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