Sir Thomas Bedford orchestrates the heist of a Spanish casino, with the aid of a singer performing there. The police are aware of their activities, and a hostage situation arises.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sir Thomas Bedford
...
Jill Stradford
Hugo Stiglitz ...
Police Commisioner Angel Carvenas
Max H. Boulois ...
Dynamite Duck
Brian Murphy ...
Archibald
Tony Fuentes ...
Tony Dimaggio
Dan Forrest
Fernando Sancho
Eduardo Fajardo ...
Director of Security
José Bódalo
Andrés Resino ...
Casino Security Chief
Victoria Vera ...
Sandra
...
Dr. Paringo
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Storyline

Sir Thomas Bedford orchestrates the heist of a Spanish casino, with the aid of a singer performing there. The police are aware of their activities, and a hostage situation arises.

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14 September 1981 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Black Jack  »

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Never distributed in either Britain or the US. See more »

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One of Peter Cushing's 'lost films'
8 April 2014 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

1981's "Black Jack" was the last of a quartet of European titles made by Peter Cushing just after "Star Wars" that virtually disappeared from view at the time of filming, unable to find distribution outside their respective territories. "Batteflag" aka "The Standard," "Son of Hitler," and "A Touch of the Sun" aka "No Secrets!" all had something besides Cushing in common, they were all vanity projects for the filmmakers, holding little appeal elsewhere. In the case of "Black Jack" aka "Asalto al Casino," Max H. Boulois served as writer/director, and played the awful 'Afro-rock' singer Dynamite Duke, even donning a Darth Vader disguise in a nod to Cushing's recent success as Grand Moff Tarkin (this was the second of his three films as small time auteur, preceded by "Big Game" and followed by "Black Commando," with Tony Curtis!). Poorly dubbed into English, sporting terrible songs and a very loud, abrasive soundtrack, it's only the actors who can keep it afloat, with very little to work with. Storywise, it's an overlong, painfully predictable heist picture, orchestrated by wealthy Sir Thomas Bedford (Cushing), owner of a stud farm outside London, who believes that security overseas is easier to pierce than it is in Las Vegas. Choosing a casino in Santander, on the Northern coast of Spain, for quick access to international waters, Bedford insists on an inside job, with Dynamite Duke as willing accomplice, unaware of the presence of a vicious quartet of professional killers intending to do the same, taking hostages when the police quickly become involved. French starlet Claudine Auget (Domino in "Thunderball") is totally wasted as Duke's publicist (despite second billing), while Brian Murphy, British star of "George and Mildred," is in familiar form as the wily Archibald, earning his share of riches at the slot machines. The police are led by Mexican star Hugo Stiglitz, the film's true lead in terms of screen time, with Eduardo Fajardo and Andres Resino, both from 1972's "The Murder Mansion," as various security chiefs. From Paul Naschy's "Frankenstein's Bloody Terror" is Julian Ugarte, well cast as fashion designer Julian Ugarte, taken hostage along with George Rigaud's Dr. Paringo, previously seen opposite Peter Cushing in 1972's "Horror Express." Closing out a screen career that began in 1931, Antonio Vilar gets special billing as renowned Dr. Vilas, who reveals himself to the kidnappers as a wanted Nazi war criminal. Mercilessly dragged out to 97 minutes, Peter Cushing is only around for just under eight, thoroughly professional as expected, dapper, cool and calm at all times, and fortunately allowed to dub his own voice. An interesting sidelight is that he replaced Donald Pleasence as Bedford; Cushing was director John Carpenter's first choice to play Dr. Sam Loomis in his classic "Halloween," his agent turning it down without ever notifying his client (that would have been such a feather in his cap). This vanity project for French-based, ultra obscure director-writer-star Max H. Boulois understandably sank without a trace, as he finally disappeared from the scene by 1987, thereafter devoting his time to journalism and politics.


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