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The Brink's Job (1978)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  8 December 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,801 users  
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After a long spate of bad luck, the little criminal Tony and his gang successfully rob one of Brink's security transports, taking $30,000. Surprisingly their coup doesn't make the press. ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe McGinnis
Vinnie Costa (as Allen Goorwitz)
Specs O'Keefe
Mary Pino
Jazz Maffie
Gerard Murphy ...
Sandy Richardson
Kevin O'Connor ...
Stanley Gusciora
Claudia Peluso ...
Patrick Hines ...
H.H. Rightmire
Mutt Murphy
Walter Klavun ...
Randy Jurgensen ...
FBI agent
John Brandon ...
FBI agent


After a long spate of bad luck, the little criminal Tony and his gang successfully rob one of Brink's security transports, taking $30,000. Surprisingly their coup doesn't make the press. Curious Tony checks out their headquarters and finds out that their security standard is low beyond belief. Now a really big coup is prepared... Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The greatest true comedy robbery of all time!


Comedy | Crime | Drama | History


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

8 December 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Stickup at Brink's  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In August 1978, fifteen unedited reels of the film were stolen at gunpoint from a Boston studio in a bizarre movie heist ironic to the film's heist plot. However, the stolen film was mostly outtakes and dailies that could be easily replaced. The positive prints of negatives of the film's footage were actually held by Technicolor in New York City. The robbers demanded a US $600,000 ransom. The money was never paid and the film completed without the missing footage and without any detrimental delays. When the robbers called to demand their ransom, director William Friedkin told them, "Get a projector and enjoy the film. It's all yours!". See more »


A guards uniform is visible in the diner basement during Pino's and McGinnis talk long before they decided to rob the trucks. See more »


Stanley Gusciora: Your Honor, I can't do no 20 years.
Judge: Well do as much as you can, son.
[bangs gavel]
See more »


References Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) See more »


Accentuate the Positive
Written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer
Sung by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters (as The Andrew Sisters)
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

THE BRINK’S JOB (William Friedkin, 1978) **1/2
4 July 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

After the dismal box office and critical reception of SORCERER (1977), William Friedkin went for a change of pace with this light-hearted piece which, however, proved that his previous misstep with was no fluke: in fact, his career never really picked up after that costly bit of self-indulgence (even so, I’ve only just acquired the director’s fair update of his own THE FRENCH CONNECTION [1971], namely TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. [1985])!

Anyway, this concerns – in a somewhat uneasy comedic vein – the famous January 1950 robbery from the Boston branch of the titular depository of payrolls destined to various key firms; incidentally, the same events had previously been depicted in the 1976 TV-movie BRINKS: THE GREAT ROBBERY. Its coup is in the meticulous period reconstruction (which earned production designer Dean Tavoularis, already responsible for BONNIE AND CLYDE [1967] and “The Godfather” films among others, an Oscar nod) – Friedkin himself had earlier demonstrated his prowess in this area with another comedy about an equally notorious incident i.e THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY’S (1968).

Interestingly, too, the cast of daring crooks here comprises several reliable character actors of the era – Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield, Paul Sorvino and Warren Oates; 1940s Hollywood veteran Sheldon Leonard turns up towards the end as J. Edgar Hoover(!), but Gena Rowlands is wasted in the role of Falk’s wife. The comedy revolves around Falk and Garfield’s bumbling duo – the former is the mastermind and the other his often resentful relative/underling. After a number of ‘jobs’ go wrong (with Falk even doing a 6-year stretch in jail) or the ‘funds’ don’t last (one amusing sequence has them following a payroll van around and lifting a handful of money bags with every stop it makes – since the officer left to ostensibly guard them is apparently in continuous slumber!), they set their mind on robbing the Brink’s warehouse.

After studying the place from the outside (such as time of arrival and departure of the various employees, and their toilet habits!), Falk manages to get inside the building to get an idea of how it’s set-up; with the place left unguarded during the night, he’s able to break in with relative ease to look for possible alarm systems and determine the model of the safe – the former is an ancient device, but the latter is up-to-date and unassailable. Oates, a war veteran, proposes to dent its surface with a bazooka fired from the roof of the opposite building(!) – however, saner heads prevail and they organize a good old-fashioned stick-up (complete with the gang putting on grotesque masks). Eventually, the sum they make off with is over $1.5 million – which, at the inflation rate of the day, was considered the biggest haul in U.S. history…thus bringing the F.B.I. in on the case.

I’m not familiar with the facts of the real case but, here, the denouement is rather unexciting as Oates is brought to justice for another (minor) theft and, since he has a very sick sister and can’t possibly make the whole jail-term, he spills the beans on The Brink’s Job! Still, the gang apparently had the last laugh as, in spite of Hoover’s promises, a very small percentage of the money was retrieved over the years (as per the postscript) – and, following the lapse of their individual sentences, one assumes each picked up where they had left off… Ultimately, the film is O.K. (though curiously undistinguished among the spate of heist pictures made during this cynical era) – and especially disappointing given the intriguing subject matter and the welter of talent involved (including a script by THE WILD BUNCH [1969]’s Walon Green).

9 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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