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A Pair of Briefs

A Pair of Briefs
Theatrical poster
Directed by Ralph Thomas
Produced by Betty E. Box
Earl St. John
Written by Kay Bannerman
Harold Brooke
Nicholas Phipps
Starring Michael Craig
Mary Peach
Brenda De Banzie
James Robertson Justice
Music by Norrie Paramor
Cinematography Ernest Steward
Edited by Alfred Roome
Distributed by J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors
Release dates
  • March 1962 (1962-03)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Pair of Briefs is a 1962 British legal comedy film directed by Ralph Thomas and starring Michael Craig, Mary Peach, Brenda De Banzie and James Robertson Justice. A new female barrister bonds with a male rebel in chambers, and together they try to piece together a case.


The "Brief" of the title refers to the document which a solicitor in the UK court system writes to instruct a barrister who will plead the solicitor's case in court. Unfortunately barristers Tony Stevens and Frances Pilbright, as juniors, receive nothing but routine briefs concerning sewers. When a juicy brief concerning a writ for "restitution of conjugal rights" appears, they take opposite sides in the case. Pilbright works fiercely for her client, a woman whose marriage was disrupted by World War II. Stevens advocates for the other side, a man who denies that he was ever married to the plaintiff, although all records have been destroyed during bombing raids. For her part, the woman claims that her husband left her after she temporarily lost her memory. The two barristers squabble in court, inevitably becoming attracted to each other in the process.

Pilbright, about to lose the case, makes a furious declaration in which she declares "the Law is an Ass!".[1] Stevens, by this time, has more sympathy for her and joins her in this. In their zeal, they offend the presiding judge, Justice Haddon. Taking them aside, he privately informs them that the suit is intended to fail, as the woman has married a millionaire and wants to remove any grounds for her previous husband to blackmail her, so their efforts were for nothing. By this time, however, the two barristers are in love.



  1. ^ A quote from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

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