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8 user 4 critic

The Man in the Back Seat (1961)

Two young thugs rob a bookie leaving a dog-racing track with his winnings, but when they grab his case full of money they discover that he has chained it to his wrist. They dash around town... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Tony
Keith Faulkner ...
Frank
...
Jean
Harry Locke ...
Joe Carter
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Storyline

Two young thugs rob a bookie leaving a dog-racing track with his winnings, but when they grab his case full of money they discover that he has chained it to his wrist. They dash around town trying to find a way to separate the case from the wrist of the bookie, who the pair has by now beaten so badly he appears to be dead. They finally come up with what they think is a foolproof plan, but soon something happens that they weren't quite expecting. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

June 1961 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann im Rücksitz  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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The effects of bad company compounded by "just one of those days" ...
12 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... and believe me I'm not trying to trivialize what the two main characters did. This short little British noir is powered by very good acting by a trio of British players with whom I am not familiar combined with great atmosphere. Two young guys who want a short cut to the good life and aren't getting anywhere by betting on the dogs at the track decide to rob a bookie. They reason he'll be an easy target since what he does is illegal anyways and he won't report the crime to the police. From the time we meet the two robbers you know exactly where they are coming from. Frank is the weak-willed guy who goes along with whatever his more dominant and nefarious friend Tony wants, because "we're mates". Frank has a conscience and probably would have never gone down this road if not for Tony. Tony is bad news, is really nobody's mate, but knows how to manipulate Frank to help him get what he wants.

The basic plot is the robbery goes bad from the start with the bookie handcuffed to his briefcase full of money, with the key to the handcuff forgotten on the bookie's desk as he leaves his office at the track. The pair of thieves are thus forced to take the unconscious bookie along with them as they have to steal the bookie's car too while they figure out how to extricate the bag from the bookie, and with them having to hit the bookie a second time when he comes to in the car. The bookie is seriously injured by this second blow, and now these two rather incompetent thugs have to balance not getting caught (Tony's top priority) with getting the bookie the medical attention he needs (Frank's main concern). The one concern they share is that of being given the death sentence should the bookie die.

Everything that can go wrong does, and adding to the drama, Frank has a wife who has had it with him catting around at night with Tony whom she has pegged as bad news from the start.

I'd highly recommend this little film that I just happened to run across on youtube. It's very short at an hour in length, but the tension just never lets up.


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