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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.
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.
Also on the plus side is its brevity -the movie is under 90 minutes and never drags
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.