A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964)

Film details

Alternative titles

  • For He's a Jolly Bad Fellow Working
  • Don Among the Dead Men Alternative
  • They all Died Laughing Alternative


Comedy. Bowles-Ottery is the only Senior Common Room scientist at Ockham, a university in the Oxbridge tradition. He is also a humanist and a TV personality with a zest for living at odds with his colleagues. He aspires to the John Aubrey professorship for which an election is taking place. In a lab experiment he accidentally discovers a new poison which induces hysterical behaviour before causing death without leaving any trace. Bowles-Ottery uses this to eliminate his opponents. His research assistant, Delia who has seduced him, now blackmails him into a promise of marriage. When his wife, Clarinda, leaves home he realises his affection for her. Delia is also poisoned. He gets home to find Clarinda has returned but the police arrive to arrest him. During the interview he takes a fatal cigarette she has unwittingly brought from the laboratory. Based on the novel Don Among the Dead Men by C.E. Vulliamy.

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