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Only Two Can Play (1962)

aka Only Two Can Play

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 106 mins · English


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Small John Lewis
Small Liz
No_movie_poster Jean Lewis
Small Vernon
Small Salter
Small Gareth L. Probert
No_movie_poster Mr. Davies
No_movie_poster Clergyman on the Committee
Small Ieuan Jenkins


No_movie_poster Sidney Gilliat Director
No_movie_poster Leslie Gilliat Production
No_movie_poster Bryan Forbes Writer
No_movie_poster Thelma Connell Editing


John Lewis (Sellers) is a poorly paid and professionally frustrated Welsh librarian and occasional drama critic, whose affections fluctuate between glamorous Liz (Mai Zetterling), and his long-suffering wife Jean (Virginia Maskell).

When a better paid job becomes vacant, Lewis is reluctant to apply, but is persuaded to do so by Jean. Then he meets the obviously attractive Elizabeth Gruffydd-Williams (Liz), a designer with the local amdram company and wife of a local councillor.

Liz offers to intercede with her husband in getting Lewis the job, and makes it clear that she is attracted to him. Lewis is easily seduced into an affair, although the couple never consummates their attraction.

Having been persuaded by Liz to leave the theatre's new production early, Lewis submits a bogus review to the local newspaper, but learns next morning that the theatre burned down shortly after the play commenced. Jean thus learns of the affair and retaliates by encouraging her old flame Probert (Richard Attenborough), a self-important literary character and dramatist (who wrote the ill-fated play). Lewis also loses the friendship of his colleague and best friend Ieuan Jenkins (Kenneth Griffith), who had a role in the play.

When Lewis is offered the better paid job, he realises that Liz will now use and control him if he lets her. Finally realising the price he has paid, he breaks off the affair and takes a job as a mobile librarian, in the hope that this will keep him away from predatory women. Jean is not so sure that he can resist them, and tags along to keep an eye on him.

Release Dates:

1962-03-20 : United States of America