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The Big Caper (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Director:
Writers:
Martin Berkeley (screenplay)
Lionel White (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Big Caper on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 March 1959 (Sweden) See more »
Tagline:
The BIG Money...The BIG Blonde...She just liked people...Men-People! See more »
Plot:
A con man in debt and down on his luck comes up with what he thinks is the perfect caper--robbing a... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
Corey Allen obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 5 July 2010, 10:57 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A small town, small scale, big drama crime heist noir surprise. Excellent! See more (8 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Rory Calhoun ... Frank Harper
Mary Costa ... Kay

James Gregory ... Flood
Robert H. Harris ... Zimmer (as Robert Harris)
Roxanne Arlen ... Doll

Corey Allen ... Roy

Paul Picerni ... Harry
Patrick McVey ... Sam Loxley
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Florenz Ames ... Paulmeyer (uncredited)
Louise Arthur ... Alice Loxley (uncredited)
Roscoe Ates ... Falkenburg (uncredited)
Valentin de Vargas ... Gas Station Attendant (uncredited)
Melody Gale ... Bitsy (uncredited)
Terry Kelman ... Bennie Laxley (uncredited)
James Nolan ... Police Sgt. Waldo Harrington (uncredited)
Voltaire Perkins ... Flood's Attorney (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Joe Stancil (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Real Estate Broker (uncredited)
Rusty Wescoatt ... Plainclothesman Outside Bank (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Stevens 
 
Writing credits
Martin Berkeley (screenplay)

Lionel White (novel)

Produced by
Howard Pine .... producer (as Howard B. Pine)
William C. Thomas .... producer
 
Original Music by
Albert Glasser 
 
Cinematography by
Lionel Lindon 
 
Film Editing by
George A. Gittens  (as George Gittens)
 
Art Direction by
Frank Paul Sylos  (as Frank Sylos)
 
Set Decoration by
Alfred Kegerris 
 
Costume Design by
Jerry Bos 
Fay Moore 
Alvina Tomin 
 
Makeup Department
Norman Pringle .... makeup artist
Myrl Stoltz .... hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Fox .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound recordist (as Roger Heman)
Fred Lau .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Koffman .... still photographer (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

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Runtime:
84 min
Country:
Language:
Sound Mix:
Certification:

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
A small town, small scale, big drama crime heist noir surprise. Excellent!, 3 June 2011
Author: secondtake from United States

The Big Caper (1957)

Fabulous. Here's where having unknown talent and a plot about ordinary folk really gels into something genuine, without glitz and without the high production values that are terrific in the best crime noirs but are also so slick they become something more and also less. "The Big Caper" obviously has aspirations, beginning with the title (one of the great "Big xxx" films like "The Big Heat" and "The Big Combo" and "The Big Sleep"). And it doesn't let up, or let down.

By the end this is a heist film through and through, but the curious part is the core central part where a couple, with criminal intentions, sets up a normal seeming life in a small and unsuspecting town. But the woman of this pair is married to another man, who happens to be the mastermind of the whole affair. Things go wonderfully right for awhile, and romance blossoms as well as a clever and huge (and simple) robbery. But of course things also go wrong.

All of this is unfolded in an idealized American town, and that's part of the fun. When some of the smaller characters in the crime arrive, they are glaringly out of place. I smelled hints of sexual weirdness (including some possible S&M stuff with a strange blonde guy) and of course there's the conflict between the two leading men and the leading woman. Like Kubrick's "The Killing," a nearly contemporary heist film, this isn't about getting caught at all, but just about the inside workings of some small time thugs with a very big and bad dream. If Kubrick's film is better technically, and has some acting that rises above (several key players are terrific), this one rises up on its quieter simplicity, and on some very solid and less sensational acting.

And on a great job pulling it together. Robert Stevens did mostly television, including a whole series for Alfred Hitchcock t.v., and among his handful of feature films this is probably the best. Nicely filmed with lots of convincing (and real) night stuff, and edited tightly, it never flags. If the ending is a little too sweet, remember this isn't Kubrick after all. But good stuff.

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