Nothing but the Best (film)

Nothing but the Best is a 1964 British black comedy film directed by Clive Donner based on the 1952 short story 'The Best of Everything' by Stanley Ellin.[1][2]

Nothing but the Best
Directed byClive Donner
Produced byDavid Deutsch
Written byStanley Ellin
Frederic Raphael
StarringAlan Bates
Music byRon Grainer
CinematographyNicolas Roeg
Edited byFergus McDonell
Distributed byAnglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors Ltd. (UK)
Release date
  • 10 March 1964 (1964-03-10) (London, UK)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


James, a young man starting with a large London firm of estate agents and auctioneers, is ambitious to get to the top. In a cheap café, he meets Charles, a drunken layabout who has everything James wants: effortless upper-class arrogance and impeccable tailoring. In return for a room to live in and loans for drink and betting, Charles agrees to tutor James in the life skills he thinks he needs to succeed. By bluff and sabotage, James rises in his firm, catching the eye of the owner and of his only daughter Ann.

Disaster threatens when Charles has a big win and wants to end the deal. James hastily strangles him and his landlady agrees to hide the corpse in her cellar in return for continuing their sexual liaison. After a long courtship, Ann agrees to marry James and her father makes him a partner in the business. Having conveniently sent his lower-middle-class parents to Australia, James anticipates his success being crowned by a grand society wedding. Ann's father confesses that he has a totally disreputable son they never see called Charles and developers who have bought the house of James' former landlady find a corpse in the cellar.

Selected cast


  1. "Nothing but the Best (1964)". BFI.
  2. Goble, Alan (8 September 2011). "The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film". Walter de Gruyter via Google Books.

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