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I Promised to Pay (1961)
"Payroll" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  20 May 1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 160 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 2 critic

A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong, when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ... See full summary »



, (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Craig ...
Françoise Prévost ...
William Lucas ...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Barry Keegan ...
Edward Cast ...
Andrew Faulds ...
William Dexter ...
Harry Parker (as William Peacock)
Glyn Houston ...
Joan Rice ...
Vanda Godsell ...
Stanley Meadows ...
Brian McDermott ...


A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong, when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ahead with the robbery, but when the driver of the armoured van is killed in the raid, his wife plans revenge, and with the police closing in, the gang start to turn on each other. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Brilliant... Brutal... Torn from tonight's headlines!


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

20 May 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Promised to Pay  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the opening credits the VW Type 2 Panel Van being driven by the would-be robbers changes from a mono-color to a two-tone. See more »


Featured in Oil City Confidential (2009) See more »


It Happens Every Day
Written by Tony Osborne & Norman Newell
Sung by Eddie Ellis
See more »

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User Reviews

Suave and sophisticated British heist flick!
12 August 2009 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Payroll is a British crime flick based on a novel by Derek Bickerton, and it is the story of a heist and its effects on all the people involved. What surprised me most is the fact that the film is so obscure! How come so few people have seen this? It's suave, sophisticated and entertaining; and it also has a great director in Sidney Hayers. It's certainly a film in need of urgent rediscovery! The film differs from many other films in its class because it focuses on the planning of the crime, the crime itself and then the effects it has on many people involved with it. The main character is Johnny Mellors; a streetwise criminal who is planning to rob the payroll of a factory. However, his plans are thrown into disarray when the firm hires a new company to guard the payroll; complete with an armoured van. The crooks decide to proceed with the crime anyway, and put a meticulous plan together to snatch the loot. However, things don't go exactly according to plan which has repercussions for everyone involved.

The plotting of this film is very good and director Sidney Hayers keeps it flowing well at all times by providing a constant stream of action. The characters presented are all interesting in their own right and the interactions between the various members of the gang are good. Things are kicked up a notch by the involvement of other parties too; as well as the central criminals, we also focus on their inside man, the police and the widow of a man killed during the robbery who is out for her own revenge. The style of the film is very sixties and feels very cool throughout, which is a big bonus to the film and gives it a real slick edge. Things remain entertaining throughout and things are left open enough to ensure that we never really know where it's going to go; by the time the ending comes, there's still several possible ways for it all to end and the ending itself is made up of many twists and turns. Again I have to reiterate my surprise at the obscurity of this film - it's certainly good enough to have a bigger following and I would certainly recommend it to anyone that considers themselves a fan of crime thrillers!

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