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Concrete Jungle (1960)

The Criminal (original title)
In UK, after pulling a racetrack robbery, repeat offender Johnny Bannion hides the loot in a farmer's field but the police and the local mob come looking for Johnny and for the money.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writer:

Alun Owen (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Baker ... Johnny Bannion
Sam Wanamaker ... Mike Carter
Grégoire Aslan ... Frank Saffron
Margit Saad ... Suzanne
Jill Bennett ... Maggie
Rupert Davies ... Edwards
Laurence Naismith ... Mr. Town
John Van Eyssen John Van Eyssen ... Formby
Noel Willman ... Prison Governor
Derek Francis Derek Francis ... Priest
Redmond Phillips ... Prison Doctor
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ... Clobber (as Kenneth Warren)
Patrick Magee ... Barrows
Robert Adams Robert Adams ... Judas
Kenneth Cope ... Kelly
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Storyline

An ex-con who's taken part in the robbery of a racetrack is caught and sent back to prison, but he won't tell his fellow gang members where he's stashed the loot. The gang kidnaps his girlfriend and has him tortured in prison in an effort to find out where the money is. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

loot | robbery | racetrack | prison | heist | See All (20) »

Taglines:

The toughest picture ever made in Britain!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1961 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Concrete Jungle See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Merton Park Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film debut of Derek Francis. See more »

Goofs

After Johnny kicks the partygoers out of his apartment, he starts to run a bath then gets out a sun ray lamp, lies on his bed and is about to switch the lamp on when he discovers Suzanne in the bed. There is no scene showing him turning the bath taps off or showing the bath overflowing. See more »

Alternate Versions

Anchor Bay's DVD, whilst otherwise uncut, does not include the melancholy end credit sequence, played over shots of circles of prisoners in the exercise yard. See more »

Connections

Featured in Oil City Confidential (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Prison Ballad (Thieving Boy)
Music by John Dankworth (uncredited)
Lyrics by Alun Owen (uncredited)
Sung by Cleo Laine
See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing
5 December 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No doubt about it, Stanley Baker is a riveting screen presence. He commands just by appearing. Maybe it's that patented jut-jawed intensity. In my little book, he's the main reason for catching up with this British crime drama, which otherwise is a disappointment considering that noir-master Joe Losey is in charge.

Admittedly, I lost some of the British dialogue because of my American ears. Nonetheless, there's a one-note monotony to the visuals, the characters, and the storyline-- no one can be trusted, life is grim, and the visuals rub our nose in the ugliness. Still, the movie is titled Concrete Jungle, not Concrete Vacation, so as far as the marquee is concerned, there is 'truth in packaging'. Nonetheless, there's little suspense or tension in the screenplay, an odd outcome for a crime drama. Events simply follow on one another without much structural development.

Why the robbery itself is passed over is puzzling since that would have provided needed suspense. My guess is that a detailed depiction would have followed too closely on the heels of Kubrick's superb racetrack robbery in The Killing (1956). But, whatever the reason, both the crime and the aftermath are dealt with in unimaginative fashion.

Losey does keep things moving in fast-paced style, while Wanamaker's slippery gangster represents an interesting character. Nonetheless, the result lacks the compelling social ambiguities of his better American films. All in all, I agree with reviewer BOUF—the result is "clunky and uneven", with an "under-developed script". Considering the source, I expected better.


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