In Monte Carlo, Theo Wilkins recruits his young protégé Paul Mason - just released from prison - to help him rob the famous casino of $4 million. The plan is straightforward. On the night ... See full summary »
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In Monte Carlo, Theo Wilkins recruits his young protégé Paul Mason - just released from prison - to help him rob the famous casino of $4 million. The plan is straightforward. On the night of the Governor's Ball, Theo will create a distraction in the casino by having one of the team collapse requiring urgent medical attention. During that time Paul and another member of the crew will get the money from the vault. When the ambulance arrives, the money will leave with the sick man. The plan is a good one but not everyone will survive the robbery and no one will get rich from it. Written by
THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER director Henry Hathaway made just about every kind of movie during his long career that spanned from the 1932 western WHEN THE WEST WAS YOUNG to the 1974 blaxploitation thriller SUPER DUDE. This above-average 1960 casino crime caper came out several months before the Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin epic OCEANS ELEVEN. The Hathaway takes place in France instead of Las Vegas and concerns an elderly ex-con, Professor Theo Wilkins (Edward G. Robinson of LITTLE CAESAR), who wants to make the world gasp for one last time. He has orchestrated a highly complex robbery at a Monte Carlo casino that will net some 4 million dollars in French money. He entices an old and dear friend, Paul Mason (Rod Steiger of DUCK YOU SUCKER), as the man who ramrods the operation. Paul straightens out everybody on the crew that he has the final word in everything. He also checks them out and tests them so he can be sure that they are reliable in a tight spot. One of the conspirators is a gorgeous stripper, Melanie (Joan Collins of LAND OF THE PHARAOHS), who strings along a timid, uptight casino secretary Raymond Le May (Alexander Scourby of THE BIG HEAT) to help them obtain invitations to an exclusive party the same night they plan to pull the robbery. They also enlist the aid of a safer cracker, Louis Antonizzi (Michael Dante of RAINTREE COUNTY), and Poncho (Eli Wallach of BABY DOLL) who is supposed to impersonate a wealthy baron. The night of the heist, Poncho fakes a heart attack so they can have an ambulance arrive. The ambulance is being driven by another conspirator Hugo Baumer (Berry Kroeger of Hitler) who handles the automobiles that they use for the robbery. Remember, back in 1960 when this movie was produced, the Production Code Administration still had enough clout to censor movies and they were not about to let these talented thieves get away with their crime. The way that Hathaway and scenarist Sydney Boehm work things out is not entirely satisfactory but it does make for a better ending that all of them being nabbed by French authorities.
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