10 user 3 critic

Loot (1970)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 1 May 1970 (UK)
Based on the play by Joe Orton, this film follows the adventures of two pals who have pulled off a bank robbery and have to hide the loot. Fortunately one of them works in a funeral parlor ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Inspector Truscott
Nurse Fay McMahon
Mr. McLeavy
Dick Emery ...
Mr. Bateman
Joe Lynch ...
Father O'Shaughnessy
Aubrey Woods ...
Enid Lowe ...
W.V.A. Leader
Andonia Katsaros ...
Harold Innocent ...
Bank Manager
Kevin Brennan ...
Jean Marlow ...
Mrs. McLeavy


Based on the play by Joe Orton, this film follows the adventures of two pals who have pulled off a bank robbery and have to hide the loot. Fortunately one of them works in a funeral parlor and they have a coffin to spare. Then there's the gold-digger nurse and the gonad-grabber detective and a host of other wonderful characters. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 May 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Det bare røveri  »

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Did You Know?


Joe Orton sold the film rights to his play for £100,000. See more »


When the hearse that Dennis is driving goes out of control because its brakes have failed, and the other vehicles in the funeral procession accelerate to keep up, they lurch round several corners. Skid marks from previous takes are visible on each corner. See more »


[cautioning Mr McLeavy]
Inspector Truscott: I must warn you, sir, that anything you say may be taken down, twisted round, altered and used in evidence against you.
See more »


References The Public Enemy (1931) See more »


Eyeball Serenade
Written by Keith Mansfield
Performed by The Keith Mansfield Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

LOOT (Silvio Narizzano, 1970) ***
11 August 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

From his subsequent work, this film comes closest in spirit to the director's best-regarded effort, namely GEORGY GIRL (1966); incredibly enough for such a light-hearted farce, it officially competed at the Cannes Film Festival where it vainly faced such tremendous contenders as THE GO-BETWEEN, DEATH IN VENICE, JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN, TAKING OFF and WALKABOUT – albeit all being released in 1971! The film was also the second play (which, for the record, was staged locally not too long ago) by the controversial if short-lived Joe Orton to be turned into a movie after ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE, released earlier that same year and which – like Stephen Frears' biopic of Orton, PRICK UP YOUR EARS (1987) with Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina – I also own but have yet to watch (the latter on the strength of LOOT itself!).

Anyway, to get back to the film at hand, the central casting is certainly splendid: Richard Attenborough's character may be a caricature but he is undeniably funny (his Scotland Yard Inspector poses as an officer from the water board and whose professed integrity proves as much a sham as his act); Lee Remick is served with a sluttish role (as a go-getting and husband-killing nurse!) that actually takes the actress back to her debut in Elia Kazan's A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957): I do not know how she ended up in Britain just then (being reteamed with Attenborough soon afterwards for the Iris Murdoch adaptation A SEVERED HEAD {1970}), but it is safe to assume that she would never have been involved in anything this crude in Hollywood!; Hywel Bennett was fashionable for a brief period (this, in fact, came towards the end of his heyday) but he is terrific as the delusional – as much about romance as get-rich-quick schemes – morgue attendant who conducts his escapades inside a hearse!; Roy Holder's name was unknown to me but he is delightful as the effeminate half of the bungling criminal duo (calling his partner "baby" and who repeatedly gets them convicted because he has a compulsion for telling the truth!) – he also comes up with the film's funniest line, describing his 'close' relationship with his mother's corpse "a Freudian nightmare" (the couple stash the money from a bank robbery in her coffin, while the body is constantly turning up at the most inopportune moments!); Milo O'Shea, another familiar face from this era thanks to his lead role in the movie version of yet one more classic source i.e. James Joyce's ULYSSES (1967), is Holder's flustered father who also drools over Remick (she, in turn, has already eyed him for her next victim!).

Perhaps the wildest idea here is having the criminals undertake the robbery in their birthday suits, so as not leave 'forensic' traces; the comic highlight, then, is a funeral procession that develops into a Keystone Kops-type chase(!), while its brightest touch is the adoption of a song score (not particularly outstanding but still quite nice and loud) to intermittently comment upon the silly-cum-tasteless (albeit rapid-fire) action! Interestingly, the busy finale is a combination of morality (characters owing up to a deed they are innocent of so as to make amends for past mistakes), cynicism (the fact that one cannot even trust authority figures anymore) and a curious 'honor-among-thieves' attitude (Bennett not only gets the girl after all but there is every reason to believe that, with Remick along for the ride, the gang's exploits can only get better and grander still!). By the way, I may be wrong but the film's manic style would seem to have anticipated some of the more stylized episodes in the long-running (and beloved) "Fantozzi" series from Italy!

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