The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960) Poster

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Safe as the Bank of England
devoniangoldwing31 December 2004
An enjoyable film. Low budget, however, the film does not suffer in the least. Typical of this era of British films, with a solid American actor (Aldo Ray), as the lead. Broody, but not really convincing. Good acting by Albert Sharpe played "Tosher". Cameos aplenty from stock actors. First time seeing Peter O'Toole in a supporting role, playing the guards officer in charge of security at the Bank. In my opinion he stole the show, if you will pardon the pun. I see that the film is based on a novel, so wishful thinking as far as the plot goes. I was born and now work in the City of London, so I know that there was obviously a lot of research concerning the sewers and the streets above them. This made the film even more enjoyable.
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Raidin' the Queen's cash box!
moonspinner5520 March 2005
Aldo Ray is sturdy and handsome as Irish-American recruited to help a group of disparate Irish characters rob the "impregnable" Bank of England in the early 1900s. Some suspense and neat ideas in this low-keyed, minimally-budgeted MGM production (one which rarely turns up on the Turner Classics channel). There's some confusion later on about the purpose of the bank robbery and why the wily coot who started the whole thing wants to pull out, but Peter O'Toole is wonderfully intense and suspicious (and incredibly young) as the chief soldier guarding the gold bullion, and Ray is always good to watch: he's not only the leader of this operation but the driving force behind the picture as well; his quick-thinking nature is mirrored in his eyes, and he never overdoes anything (he's all business). Straight-forward drama is given good direction and the supporting cast is colorful. As for the they get away with it? You may have to buy a bootleg copy to find out! **1/2 from ****
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A Hard Way to ROB at BANK!
whpratt115 October 2004
Enjoyed this B&W film from the 60's and the great acting of Aldo Ray,(Norgate),"Terror Night",'87, who planned a very interesting bank robbery which I thought could never be accomplished. Elizabeth Sellars,(Iris Muldoon),"Jet Storm",'59, gave a great supporting role trying to give aid and good judgment to a bunch of robbers in a back breaking bank robbery! Peter 0'Toole(Captain Fitch," Troy",'04, was an outstanding military officer who had a keen sense of alarm when the gaslights started to dim in the passageways. I never saw bank robbers who took on such a horrible way about robbing a bank, my back was giving me trouble after viewing this picture. If you want to see a very young Peter O'Toole at his best, catch this film on TV sometime!
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Ray versus O'Toole
blanche-230 August 2010
Aldo Ray and Peter O'Toole star in "The Day They Robbed the Bank of England," a 1960 film directed by John Guillerman. Ray plays Norgate, an American who sympathizes with the Irish republican movement. To this end, he and his cronies plan to rob the Bank of England. Befriending a guard, Captain Finch (O'Toole) while in a pub, over time Norgate manages to gather many details about the layout of the bank and the whereabouts of the vault with the gold bullion.

This is the type of "caper" film very popular in the 1960s. It's a small British film and a little slow in spots, but intriguing. The Captain is one of O'Toole's early roles, so it's definitely of interest to see him.

One of my problems with this movie is the weak script - it seemed odd to me that the Captain didn't realize pretty quickly what Norgate was up to. The acting, however, is very good, with some fine character actors offering great support: Kieron Moore, Albert Sharpe, and others. The lovely Elizabeth Sellars plays the liaison with Ireland -- she was widowed as a result of the cause.

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A Tunnel Job Requires A Miner
bkoganbing18 May 2011
For a chance to see Peter O'Toole before Lawrence Of Arabia, I would highly recommend The Day They Robbed The Bank Of England. It's a period caper film set at the turn of the last century about some Fenians attempting to rob the Bank Of England itself.

The Irish cause as personified by Hugh Griffith as acquired the services of an American Irish patriot in the person of Aldo Ray. Among his other qualifications is that of a miner if a tunnel job is needed and he surveys it and says it is.

He also cultivates Coldstream guardsman Peter O'Toole who is glad to have a new drinking companion and he furnishes all kinds of information about the bank and its security. He also begins to suspect something is terribly amiss at the bank though he can't put his finger on it.

Ray's crew consists of Albert Sharpe in his farewell performance who's more of a hindrance than a help, Elizabeth Sellars with whom he has a past and Kieron Moore who Sellars has a present. That does not make for a smooth running operation.

John Guillermin who later directed such films I liked as Death On The Nile and Guns At Batasi directed The Day They Robbed The Bank Of England at a really nice pace and brought out some good characterizations from his players. As for the job itself will it succeed is up to both the caprices of men and politics. Hugh Griffith who is one of my favorite actors and who has the wildest most expressive eyes ever in cinema represents the politics of the Irish cause and quite well.

A very nice film, The Day They Robbed The Bank Of England and for his fans a wonderful opportunity to see Peter O'Toole before he became a star.
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Not a bad film
vahab15 June 2002
I just saw The day they robbed the Bank of England. It is not a bad film. I think it was very low budget. I have no idea whether the story is true, but at times it was very suspenseful. Peter O'Toole gives a splendid and convincing performance. He was more at ease in this film than any other film that I have seen him. Aldo Ray, who is the main character, at times looks wooden and does not look like someone who cares for Ireland or a woman or anything. I recommend it if it is on TV and for 1 1/2 of relaxation.
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Period caper movie
lorenellroy30 July 2003
This modest but proficient thriller pretty much tells you its plot in the title.It deals with an attempt by the Irish republican movement at the turn of the twentieth century to break into the vaults of the Bank of England and extract the fortune in gold bullion stored there.They call in an American -woodenly played by Aldo Ray -to mastermind the venture and he extracts key information from a Britsh officer ,an early screen role for Peter O'Toole and from a Thames vagrant with knowledge of the sewer system. The climax sees the gang tunneling under the bank in a race against the military who have begun to suspect something is amiss. Cheaply made and slackly written this is still worth watching for the parade of British character actors who pop up and add substance to minor roles and for the touch of cynicism about politics -the Irish movement having plotted the heist find it politically expedient to try and stop it when the political scene changes in their favour

Also on the plus side is its brevity -the movie is under 90 minutes and never drags
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Just a so-so movie.
Boba_Fett113816 December 2008
This is actually quite an original heist movie, not because of its story or characters but more because of the fact that the movie is a period movie as well. The movie is set around 1900, thus making this not just your average normal bank robbers movie.

Yet the movie does not work out as good as it potentially could had. The movies takes too much time to build up to the actual heist. It makes the first halve of the movie mostly dragging and not interesting or exciting enough to watch. It even manages to throw in a love interest, which is completely redundant.

It's true that the movie only really gets off the ground once they start the break-in. From that point on the movie becomes actually quite good to watch. It only then becomes obvious that the movie its characters are actually quite interesting and its story can be actually quite clever and intriguing. A bit too late though, making this only a so-so movie, with one good second halve and one weaker first halve.

For 1960 standards its definitely a good and professional British looking movie, despite the fact that this obviously wasn't a movie with a very high budget. It knows to create a good, typical for its period, kind of atmosphere.

All of the actors in the movie are some big unknowns and none of them also really know to impress. At leas they don't leave a lasting impression. Except for the at the time still young Peter O'Toole. This actually was only O'Toole's second movie he ever appeared in but he already had his own trademark style of acting at the time. His character is also easily the best of the movie, which also makes you cheer more for him than his actual 'enemy' and main character of the bank, the professional thief and bank robber, played by Aldo Ray. Come to think of it, why should you even cheer in the first place for the movie its bank robbers? It's not like they are doing it for a good cause, which just doesn't make them the most sympathetic main characters for a movie.

Perhaps it would also had been a better movie if it was just a tad bit more entertaining. It should had paid some more attention to its 'fun', rather than its serious aspects.

A watchable movie, that however also leaves you with the feeling that it isn't as good as it truly could had been.

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