A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.
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A private applies to be a test subject for the military's new chemical weapons program. After many tests he decides to use his knowledge on chemical warfare to rob banks. He will need a partner, though.
This is an imaginative plot, yet one with which the viewer can readily identify. A bank teller is held up at gun point in his bank. Luckily for him he receives a clue that this is going to occur and diverts most of the cash into his own safety deposit box, leaving only a nominal amount for the crook. The ruse works well, but for the fact that the crook resents the fact that he has been outsmarted. There ensues a terrific battle of wits involving the clever but basically "moral" teller, and the cunning and totally uninhibited bank robber, which involves several other people in ways which cannot be revealed here. Written by
Geoff Jamieson <GJamieso@vitgnos1.telecom.com.au>
Outstanding thriller, one of the best Canadian films ever
Anders Bodelson's Danish novel "Think of a Number" has been transplanted to Toronto, intelligently updated by screenwriter Curtis Hanson, and directed by Daryl Duke in brilliant fashion. What makes this film so special, I think, is that you wind up rooting for Elliot Gould, a bank teller turned thief, to best Christopher Plummer, a sadistic bank robbery, even though Gould's character is basically amoral. This is that rare thriller that works on every level. The plotting feels free of contrivance, Gould and Plummer have never been better, chilly Toronto looks spectacular, and there's a wonderfully evocative, jazzy soundtrack by pianist Oscar Peterson.
Coming as it did out of Canada in 1978, this film, despite its high quality, was almost immediately forgotten, but it is surely deserving of rediscovery. Check it out. It's one of the very best thrillers you'll ever see.
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