Cash on Demand (1961) Poster

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The script is very good--the acting of Peter Cushing and André Morell make it exceptional
MartinHafer15 May 2011
I was going to give this film an 8, but when I thought about how inexpensively and expertly the movie was made, I really think it deserves a 9. This is a great case of a relatively simple plot made a whole lot better by wonderful acting and direction. In particular, André Morell plays a deliciously evil yet complex villain and Peter Cushing gives what is probably his best performance in his long career. As a result, it's well worth seeing--and a great example for film makers, as it proves you don't need a huge budget and complex sets to make a good film.

The film is set in a bank. The manager (Cushing) is a humorless and exacting boss--very efficient but not one to inspire his employees' love or devotion. However you dislike the guy, though, you can't help but feel for him with what happens next. A guy who purports to be from the underwriter for the bank arrives and asks to meet with Cushing alone. The man (Morell) then announces that he is, in fact, a bank robber and that if Cushing does not cooperate, Cushing's wife and son will be tortured or killed. And, he provides a phone message with the scared wife to prove that he means business. What will happen next? Cushing IS a very efficient man, but he loves his family and can't let them be hurt.

Throughout the film, I marveled at Cushing. The actor was known mostly for his horror films, but he appeared in gobs of movies--but never one that allowed him such an opportunity to emote like this. Cushing is very, very convincing as a scared and lonely man who feels trapped. It's too bad that many of his other roles were a bit one-dimensional and didn't let him demonstrate he was a heck of an actor. Morell is also quite good--but his smooth criminal doesn't provide him quite the same depth and opportunity as Cushing's. This is Cushing's film.

An exciting plot, wonderfully written characters and great acting--what more could you ask for in a crime film?! See this one.
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Morrell doesn't examine banks, he robs them
bkoganbing23 September 2014
Cash On Demand is a story about a home invasion/bank robbery. Peter Cushing is almost Dickensian like in his portrayal of the stuffy branch manager who seems to have been modeled on Ebenezer Scrooge.

The first 10 minutes or so set the tone for the film as we see all the employees scurrying about doing their best to avoid coming under Cushing's withering glance. But his attention is drawn to Richard Vernon who he suspects of sloppy bookkeeping at best and embezzlement at worst. He's telling this Bob Cratchit that he'll be hitting the bricks soon.

At that point Andre Morrell comes in and says he's a bank examiner from some insurance company. But when he's alone he reveals to Cushing that he doesn't examine banks, he robs them. And he further reveals that Cushing's wife and daughter are being held hostage and he's going to empty the vault and leave within an hour unobstructed lest they be killed by his accomplices.

Cash On Demand is a real sleeper with most of the action focusing on the scenes between Cushing and Morrell. Even a ruthless crook takes down Cushing's character and from what we see the man has some shrewd observations. Cushing though understandably frightened summons up some inner resources here. It's a wonderful contrast in characters.

Try to catch this one if TCM runs it.
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superior B-movie
SnoopyStyle6 October 2020
Harry Fordyce (Peter Cushing) is the manager of the Haversham branch of the City & Colonial Bank. He's a stickler for the rules and berates his underling Pearson over minor infractions. The bank insurer has sent Colonel Gore Hepburn (André Morell) to inspect the branch but he turns out to be the leader of a bank robbery crew. His men have taken Harry's family hostage and he directs Harry to steal from the bank.

This Hammer film is a little different from their usual monster B-movie. This is a crime noir B-movie and it's darn good. The production is actually quite simple with a simple set and a limited number of actors. The trick is that these are terrific British actors led by the great Peter Cushing. Morell is having so much devious fun. Richard Vernon is the secret weapon. I would however insert a more prominent music score to heighten the tension. There is a little bit later but it's much too light. It's a little too play-like. It needs something more cinematic as well as the visuals. All in all, this is a superior B-movie.
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Just another day at the office...
mark.waltz12 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Peter Cushing learns a thing or two about humility in this exciting caper drama set in the world of banking. When an alleged agent from a banking insurance agency shows up in his office, Cushing (who has just told off practically every member of his staff and threatened to fire one) finds himself pushed into a corner when the agent turns out to be a robber who tells him that his men are holding his wife and son hostage and unless Cushing turns over 93,000, his men will have his wife electrocuted, not killing her, but leaving her totally mentally incapacitated. This puts the usually controlling Cushing into the position of being the controlled, and gives the audience an insight into the emptiness of this man's soul.

The severe face of Cushing is well utilized for the character of Mr. Fordeyes (a Dickens-like take on "Four Eyes" for this be-speckled character perhaps?), an Ebenezer Scrooge if there ever was one. The fact that this takes place near Christmas time and the staff members of the bank are discussing whether or not there will be a Christmas party makes that comparison even more perfect. The audience also gets to look both into the criminal mind and the security workings of a bank, and each twist and turn that this caper takes will bring you close to the edge of your seat. It isn't the banker you care about, but the staff and his unseen wife. Eventually, as his desperation becomes more apparent, you do begin to feel something for Cushing, if at least pity. André Morell delivers a sly performance as the alleged Colonel, while Richard Vernon is also excellent as the chief clerk whose 10+ years of service are being threatened by Cushing's accusations of incompetence. In the end, this is not only a caper film, but a drama about the importance of compassion and understanding in the work place, something we can all identify with.
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Excellent thriller
Woodyanders3 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Two days before Christmas and all is not well in the bank. Austure, fastidious, and domineering bank manager Fordyce (the always superb Peter Cushing in top form) finds himself at the mercy of urbane and wily criminal Hepburn (marvelously played to the smooth and smug hilt by Andre Morell), who forces Fordyce to assist him with robbing his bank or else Fordyce's abducted wife and son will be severely hurt. Director Quentin Lawrence, working from a sharp and witty script by David T. Chantler and Lewis Greifer, ably milks the gripping story for maximum suspense and maintains a steady pace throughout. Lawrence downplays action in favor of focusing instead on tension and the shrewd bristling verbal sparring between the two principal characters. Moreover, this movie is essentially a clever thriller version of "A Christmas Carol," with the initially unlikable Fordyce becoming more and more sympathetic as he learns a much-needed albeit harrowing lesson in humility and thus regains his humanity while doing his best to stay calm and collected under intense pressure. Cushing and Morell do outstanding work in their roles. Richard Vernon likewise does well as kindly chief clerk Pearson. Both Arthur Grant's crisp black and white cinematography and Wilfred Josephs' shivery score are up to par. A real dandy sleeper.
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Brilliant performance by Peter Cushing
blanche-24 July 2016
From Hammer Films, "Cash on Demand" is a good thriller from 1961.

It's Christmas week, and in the office of City & Colonial Bank in Haversham, it's a quiet day. The small staff is managed by Harry Fordyce (Peter Cushing), a business-only nerd who exudes no warmth, no holiday spirit, and does not fraternize with the help. He won't even let the staff put up Christmas decorations.

Today there is a ten pound discrepancy and he's making a big hullabaloo about it, even though the error was spotted.

In walks Colonel Gore Hepburn (Andre Morrell), who represents the bank insurance company. He is doing a surprise inspection of the security. When he's alone with Fordyce, he informs him that he's a thief, there to steal the bank's money, and that he's holding Fordyce's wife and child hostage. One signal from the window, and they're done with.

Hepburn has the robbery planned down to the second, and Fordyce must play along. In the outer office, Hepburn acts like an efficient man, checking out the floor signals. Fordyce is a wreck but tries not to show it. He carries out all of his instructions, which include putting the money into suitcases (Hepburn's "luggage").

Very suspenseful film, and one wonders if Hepburn will be able to get away with the robbery, and if Fordyce will be implicated in any way.

Peter Cushing is tremendous in the role of Fordyce, cold, stern, and highly disciplined, living a life where there are no shades of gray and mistakes are not permitted. As Hepburn, Andre Morell is excellent, charming even when he's talking about the most deadly things.

The ending is a little rushed and a tiny bit confusing, but the story is a nice little take on "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge Fordyce learning a few life lessons. Highly recommended. I saw this on a double disc with "Stop Me Before I Kill."
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A modest thriller, but be sure to watch the British version!
JohnHowardReid8 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Associate producer: Anthony Nelson-Keys. Executive producer: Michael Carreras. A Hammer Film Production. A Columbia Release.

Copyright 1 January 1962 by Woodpecker/Hammer Productions, released in the U.K. through BLC on 15 December 1963, in the U.S.A. through Columbia in February 1962. No New York opening. Australian release: 20 July 1962. Running times: 84 minutes (U.S.A.), 66 minutes (U.K.), 90 minutes (Aust.). (An excellent Sony DVD).

SYNOPSIS: Posing as an insurance company investigator, Hepburn plans to loot the provincial bank managed by Fordyce, who is something of a martinet to his staff. Hepburn persuades Fordyce that, unless he assists in the robbery and getaway, his wife and son will come to a sorry end; thoroughly cowed, Fordyce agrees to help.

COMMENT: Although its TV origins are obvious, suspenseful writing, concentrated playing and well-knit direction gives this modest Hammer thriller an edge over its contemporaries. — J.H.R. (reviewing the British version).

OTHER VIEWS: Unlucky us, Columbia have released the complete 90- minute version in Australia. Admittedly, a must for Andre Morell and Peter Cushing devotees, but somewhat less palatable for the ordinary, fee-paying entertainment-seeker. - George Addison reviewing the Australian version.

One of those pre-arranged robberies in which all the steps are plotted and planned and all work out nicely and smoothly until that unexpected slip-up, is what you get in this neat, unpretentious little British film ... The picture provides a few engaging moments of suspense and some modest exchanges of obvious humor between Mr. Morell, who is casual and dry, and Peter Cushing, who is pinch-faced and nervous as the cornered bank manager. — Bosley Crowther, reviewing the American version in The N.Y. Times.
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Cash on Delivery? Pah! This is Cash on Demand!
hitchcockthelegend20 April 2012
Out of Hammer Film Productions, Cash on Demand is directed by Quentin Lawrence and adapted to screenplay by David Chantler & Lewis Greifer from a play by Jacques Gillies. It stars Peter Cushing, Andre Morell, Richard Vernon, Norman Bird and Kevin Stoney. Music is by Wilfred Josephs and photography by Arthur Grant.

Hammer's Xmas movie has a kick and half.

In the opening section of Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction", robber in waiting Tim Roth tells his lover, Amanda Plummer, about how a guy robbed a bank with just a telephone. This principal is the core of Hammer's majestic "Cash on Demand", an intense, tightly constructed thriller that also provides proof positive of the acting talents of Peter Cushing, Andre Morell & Richard Vernon.

With minimal budget to work from and operating out of practically one set, director Lawrence gets the maximum suspense out of script with no blood letting or overt violence. This is very much about eloquent verbal sparring, the terror is in what might happen should Cushing's (superbly shifting of the acting gears as the plot unfolds) martinet bank manager not tow the slick line being drawn by Morel's (brilliantly playing his cards close to his chest) crafty thief.

A real gem and a pleasant surprise, both in technical merits and outcome of story. Highly recommended to all serious fans of Classic British Cinema. 9/10
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An Obvious Redemption Plot With Sublime Casting
Theo Robertson3 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Arrogant hard hearted bank manager Mr Fordyce receives a visit from a Colonel Hepburn who introduces himself as an insurance investigator . As they talk Fordyce receives a phone call from his wife saying she's being held hostage by men threatening to kill her . Hepburn then reveals himself as the man behind the hostage taking

I knew nothing about this film apart from the title , the fact it was produced by Hammer and it starred Peter Cushing and Andre Morrell . If the plot was two characters played by Cushing and Morrell watching paint dry for 80 minutes I would still have gone out of my way to watch it . Cushing and Morrell starred in the BBC's 1954 Nigel Kneale adaptation of Orwell's 1984 , one of the greatest landmark productions the BBC ever made . From a technical viewpoint it was rather primitive production viewed with modern eyes but at the same time has a power that is undiminished by time . Much of this is down to the acting skills of the two leads and the scene where Morrell's villain tortures Cushing's everyman hero remains stark raw drama at its best . Morrell also starred as the eponymous hero of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT and much of that teleplay's success is down to Morrell as the lead character

It's the casting that makes this somewhat staid , static British B movie something of an unknown forgotten classic . Peter Cushing forever synonymous with Hammer productions is cast against type as Mr Fordyce a cold , aloof , uncaring bank manager whose world starts to collapse as he's introduced to Colonel Hepburn played by Morrell . If you enjoyed Morrell as Quatermass you'll enjoy his performance here as he enjoys taking control of a situation that he is charge of . Bullying and authoritative , a genuine control freak he enjoys dominating Cushing's Fordyce without once ever going over the top . Cushing is equally as good , in fact it's possibly his career best performance

What let's the film down is the denouement which is very much ambiguous and open to interpretation . There's several ways you can read it none of which are entirely satisfactory but it helps if you watch the film at Christmas time and remind yourself of a famous Christmas fable by Charles Dickens . CASH ON DEMAND is an obvious redemption plot but the journey is far more important than the destination and the journey is enthralling down to the two leads
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A well executed thriller.
Hey_Sweden15 December 2013
December the 23rd. The City & Colonial Bank is visited by a charming stranger identifying himself as Col. Gore Hepburn (Andre Morell). He asks to speak with bank manager Harry Fordyce (Peter Cushing), who's a harsh, demanding, detail-oriented type who doesn't care to get to know his employees better. Soon Hepburn is revealed as a very clever and ruthless bank robber who forces Fordyce into being an accomplice by threatening Fordyces' wife and son. In a short span of time Fordyce shows a touch more humanity by revealing what it is in the world that he cares most about.

Director Quentin Lawrence ("The Trollenberg Terror") does a creditable job with this meaty script, written by David T. Chantler and Lewis Greifer based on a play by Jacques Gillies. And one can tell that this is based on a play, with the accent on dialogue, but it's interesting and riveting all the way through, with very taut direction by Lawrence who gets superb performances out of his two talented leads. Cushing is a joy to watch as a man who becomes more sympathetic as the story plays out. And Morell is fun as the dapper, (mostly) calm thief. Solid support is provided by Richard Vernon as Pearson, the banks' second-in-command, Barry Lowe as the teller Harvill, and Kevin Stoney as Detective Inspector Mason.

Also indicating a stage origin is a limited number of sets, but this only serves to give this superior film an intimate feel and help us to get completely involved in this twist-laden plot. And the story, which works as a variation on the classic Dickens tale "A Christmas Carol", is irresistible for its theme of a person in need of some redemption.

Slickly made in every respect, this is among the best of the black & white Hammer thrillers.

Eight out of 10.
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Another Fine Film From Hammer Studios...They Did So Much With So Little
LeonLouisRicci9 August 2017
Stiff Suspense from Hammer Studios with a Good Cast Led by Peter Cushing and Andre Morell. It's all Tight and Closed In with the Camera Never Leaving the Confines of a Bank (unless you count the sidewalk out front) .

It's Christmas Time so let's get the Dickens Comparisons going. The Film is Based on a Play and it Plays Out that way for the 80 Minute Duration.

The Movie's Mania is Solidified by Morell's Character who is Increasingly Aloof and Off His Rocker. This Goofball has "Gone Fishing" by the Final Scenes. This is all Finely Contrasted by Cushing's Paranoia, Guilt, and Devotion to His Wife and Son and Plays it All as Serious as a Heart Attack.

Overall, it's Good Stuff from Hammer. If it's a Hammer Film it's Worth a Watch.

The British Studio could Do No Wrong it seems and Produced One Fine Production After Another. Monster Remakes and Follow Ups were Their Forte, but Occasionally Branched Out and Delivered Neat Little Gems in other Genres and Never seemed to Disappoint.

No other Studio Made so many Fine Films with so Little Resources. Although to be Fair, for Comparison, in America, the Same could be said of Roger Corman.
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CASH ON DEMAND (Quentin Lawrence, 1961) ***
Bunuel19761 January 2012
Having been a bank employee for a number of years now, I guess I have a subversive fondness for caper thrillers, especially those dealing with robberies from vaults and which generally involve hostages being taken. Although they have been known to happen locally even during my tenure, luckily I have never been subjected to one…although last year's mid-year attempt was quite a close call! Anyway, this renowned British example of this subgenre – atypically produced by Hammer Films for all of £37,000! – gives studio stalwarts Peter Cushing and Andre' Morell (formerly paired as adversaries in a famous 1953 TV adaptation of 1984 – that I have yet to watch! - and as celebrated duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in their atmospheric 1959 adaptation of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES) arguably the best non-horror roles they ever had during their stay at Bray Studios.

Although the IMDb mistakenly gives the film as being a 1962 production and a mere 66 minutes in length, the truth of the matter is more complicated: its U.S. distributors Columbia released it over there as early as December 1961 but the movie would not be officially screened on its home-turf until October 1963; its running time, then, is actually 80 minutes! Based on an earlier TV episode of THEATRE 70 entitled GOLD INSIDE which also shared the same director and starred Morell but with one Richard Warner enacting the role later handled by Cushing. Indeed, the Christmas period during which the narrative is set and Cushing's own fastidious and glum character make this seem like a smart revisit of Dickens' Yuletide perennial about a certain cantankerous miser who goes by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge! Cushing, in fact, plays a strict and unloved manager of a small banking branch in the suburbs who is as distant and authoritarian with his staff as he seems to be with his wife and child. Morell is the at-once gentlemanly and ruthless thief who poses as an auditor from Head Office out to inspect this particular branch's security standards.

The fact that a recent minor cash difference had just put a young teller (Barry Lowe) and the Chief Clerk (Richard Vernon) at loggerheads with their Manager only exacerbates the tension already present within the enclosed environment and ensures that a series of errors (i.e. security breaches) are committed that enable Morell's ease of entry into Cushing's office from which he will be conducting his cunning plan of filling up four suitcases (which he had Lowe bring back inside from his car parked outside!) with the bank's entire cash holding of £93,000 since there is a direct passage to the vault downstairs from there! This being the early 1960s, it still presents the old-fashioned picture of a branch manager holding one of the keys to the keys to the bank's strongroom with the other held by the Chief Clerk but that situation is all the more plausible for the film being set in a small branch. Morell tells Cushing that he had been planning the heist for a year and one is bound to believe him since he knows every little detail concerning not just the bank's security procedures but also its individual employees! In fact, some accomplices are apparently holding Cushing's family hostage and have orders to kill them if the appropriate signals are not given from Cushing's window. The plan goes smoothly for Morell (despite the occasional slip-up from a broken-down Cushing) but he has not reckoned with Norman Bird (as an eager-to-please bank employee who belatedly checks up on Morell's identity with Head Office) and Kevin Stoney (as an overzealous new Police Inspector in town)...

Apart from the aforementioned stars and a handful of behind-the-scenes mainstays, most of the people involved in the film were not Hammer regulars; even so, it still emerges as one of their worthier straight efforts and is miles removed from even their other thrillers: the telephone sequence with Cushing and his 'family' and the sudden realization of Morell's true intent is more genuinely spine-tingling than anything out of the studio's more renowned chillers! Still, the miniscule budget ensured that no attempt is made to open-up the story (which would have justified this big-screen transposition!) but, on the other hand, this enables it to retain the inherent claustrophobia elicited by its one-set plot; one other quibble involves the finale, which could have been rendered in a more exciting manner! While Cushing's characterization is impressive (it was a pleasure to watch him crack under the strain and become recognizably humane – albeit still reservedly – towards his "subordinates") as always but Morell is a particular standout here (since he was rarely given the opportunity to play lead roles, notable exceptions being the original TV serial QUATERMASS AND THE PIT {1958} – later condensed for a movie remake by Hammer themselves but starring Andrew Keir{!} – and the company's sole foray into living-dead lore THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES {1966}) as the charming villain who can just as easily display his menace through the tone of his voice as the use of his hands. Interestingly, director Lawrence was the man behind the Hammer-esque sci-fi effort THE TROLLENBERG TERROR aka THE CRAWLING EYE (1958; which I just caught up with last year) and THE MAN WHO FINALLY DIED (1963; another thriller featuring Cushing that I have in my unwatched pile). For the record, having already acquired a mediocre-looking copy of the film some years back, I eventually upgraded to a vastly superior one sourced from Sony's barebones disc as part of their "Hammer Films: The Icons Of Suspense" 6-film 3-disc set.
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Even more so than the miserly scoundrel "Mr. Potter" of . . .
oscaralbert22 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
. . . IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, bank branch manager "Harry Fordyce" of Haversham proves that typical American-speaking cash store executives should be forced to live up to their job classifications sooner rather than later, through the finality of lethal execution. Money is all that Harry cares about. He cannot even recognize his wife or young son's voices on the phone, because he has so little time for them. Harry is not on speaking terms with any of his money vault's regular customers, such as the local police sergeant, either. Harry spends a lot more time with the folks he dubs as his "subordinates," and it's not in a mutually beneficial way. Harry's Reign of Terror even extends beyond bank personnel to actual account holders, such as "Mr. Burnaby," who quake in their clogs when a bank teller makes an error in THEIR favor! Number guys such as Harry recently gave the USA the Derivatives Crisis and the resulting Great Recession, which cost We Blue Collar Loyal Patriotic Normal Average Working Stiffs $2 trillion plus 87,248 lives (and counting)! Seldom has History offered a generation of people a more clear-cut choice of "Kill, or be killed!"
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The Silent Partner.
morrison-dylan-fan2 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
When reading up for details on The Silent Partner and Think of a Number (1969-also reviewed) I found out about a earlier Hammer Noir with what sounded like a similar setting. Being very lucky to recently find Number with English subtitles,I was thrilled to find CoD in a Hammer Suspense box set I found on eBay, which demanded a viewing.

View on the film:

Setting the watch from the moment Hepburn enters the bank, director Quentin Lawrence & cinematographer Arthur Grant click a real-time Film Noir with masterful procession,drilling Hepburn's detailed outline of the heist plan he tells Fordyce with match cuts to Hepburn following a section of the plan,(such as Hepburn giving Fordyce orders to enact a part of it in 5 minutes, which then plays out 5 minutes later into the run-time.)

Not even offering humbugs to staff as a X-Mas gift, Lawrence superbly uses snow on the windows and winter clothes to enhance the icy Hammer Noir atmosphere, snowing it down in graceful long panning shots from the frosty window of Fordyce's "Chamber Piece" office to close-ups on Hepburn sitting in a chair keeping Fordyce walking on thin ice.

Banking on Jacques Gillies's original play, David T. Chantler and Lewis Greifer's adaptation wonderfully pays out to A Christmas Carol, as Fordyce tuts at each staff member getting into the holiday season, until he discovers the Christmas spirit himself, when it's all too late.

Giving his lone warm greeting to Hepburn due to how redefined he looks, the writers brilliantly turn Fordyce's beliefs inside out with cracking slow-burn Film Noir dialogue tearing the towering power he displays in front of his workers strip by strip, into the hands of the quietly confident, calculating Hepburn.

Spending the whole film with just one other person, Morell gives a incredibly layered turn as Hepburn. Rumbling in as a puffed-up little Colonel, Morell bursts the bubble with a striking underlying menaced, carried in Morell having Hepburn hand out orders and threats to Fordyce with a strict master thief professionalism. Spending almost the whole movie just with Morell, Peter Cushing gives a exceptional, measured turn as Fordyce, whose Scrooge complexities Cushing delicately unwinds to icy fear from Hepburn asking for cash on demand.
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A Christmas Crime.
AaronCapenBanner21 November 2013
Quentin Lawrence directed this good crime thriller that stars Peter Cushing as Harry Fordyce, a bank manager who is introduced to an insurance investigator named Hepburn(played by Andre Morel) on the 23 of December. Ostensibly there to check security, he is really a ruthless and cunning thief who has an elaborate plan to rob the bank, and needs Fordyce's cooperation to pull it off, so convinces him that he holds his family hostage, and will have them murdered by his associates if he doesn't signal to them his agreeing to help. Fordyce decides to cooperate, all the while trying to find a way out... Fine film with two stellar performances, especially Cushing, who proves that he can act quite well outside the horror genre he was best known for.
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Fantastic thriller from Hammer studios!
The_Void3 August 2009
If you think of Peter Cushing in a Hammer production, it will be his roles in the colourful and camp horror films that will spring to mind first, and for good reason as it's those performances that defined the great actor; but Cushing and Hammer also combined on some non-horror films, and Cash on Demand is surely one of the very best of them; both in terms of the film itself and the performance from the great Peter Cushing. This is an absolutely brilliant thriller that works thanks to its simplicity, commanding and intriguing performances and well written script. The film focuses on a bank in a small town which is managed by the dedicated Mr Fordyce. His bank is disturbed one day by a caller who introduces himself as a man from the bank's insurance company, who has come to test the security. However, it transpires that the man is actually a bank robber, who has come to rob the bank, and he's got an associate in Fordyce's house ready to kill his wife and kid if he does not allow the robbery to take place!

Peter Cushing's performance in this film is absolutely immense and undoubtedly one of the best of his career. He gets his character spot on and is completely believable throughout the film and this is one of the main reasons Cash on Demand is such a success. He is joined by André Morell who is equally brilliant in his role as the debonair bank robber. Every scene in the film takes place either in the bank or just outside of it, and most of it takes place in Forsyce's office where we get to watch Cushing and Morell play a game of cat and mouse, which is always fascinating to watch. The film remains simple throughout and director Quentin Lawrence keeps his audience interested through the various elements of the plot. The film does have a few twists and turns, and of course the best of these is saved right up until the end. Overall, this is an absolutely great thriller that is well worth seeing and comes highly recommended! Unfortunately, the copy I saw was rather poor, which makes this a prime candidate for a pristine release on DVD!
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Clever and measured with excellent performances
christopher-underwood28 April 2018
Well written and tight little film with a fine performance from Peter Cushing and an even better one from Andre Morell. The former plays a Scrooge like, petty minded Bank Manager (very reminiscent of many that I encountered in my banking career!) and the latter the smooth talking and rather endearing robber. It is snowing outside and by the door is a Santa ringing his bell. With the mean natured manager, the gentleman thief and the allusions to Christmas, it is clear the shadow of Dickens hovers. As well as the crisp and effective dialogue there are just enough little incidents to maintain a certain level of tension and keep this afloat despite the absence of any sensational moments. Clever and measured with excellent performances from all the support actors, this just lacks a bit of spark.
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The Most Frightening Film Hammer Ever Made
richardchatten23 December 2019
Hammer Films traditionally made their horror films palatable by setting them in period and in Europe somewhere; the colour making the blood more vivid but the films incongruously pretty.

Reuniting the Holmes & Watson of their version of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' a couple of years earlier, 'Cash on Demand' more recalls the 1954 BBC version of '1984' in which Cushing & Morell played Winston Smith and his urbanely amoral nemesis O'Brien.

Like the same year's 'The Damned' it's horrors more resemble the very contemporary anxieties of the early sixties; and it ironically contains probably the most shocking moment of physical violence in Hammer's entire output when the potential violence always just below the surface becomes overt when someone is slapped - hard - across the face.
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An Uncommon Thief!!
kidboots21 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It takes the British to make something memorable and gripping out of an ordinary bank heist movie, helped by two tremendous performances. Astonishing that Hammer invested only 37,000 pounds (by 2009 standards) into this film!! Peter Cushing is perfection as the martinet Mr. Fordyce, a bank manager who runs the bank (and his life) like clockwork!! His nit picking and constant carping don't make for a happy work place and he is constantly tried by Pearson (can't remember the actor's name but he was terrific as the old Major in "The Duchess of Duke Street"). Pearson is constantly stressed but hard hearted Fordyce will not recommend the transfer Pearson so desperately craves, in fact he is contemplating dismissing the luckless teller!!

Into this oppressive atmosphere breezes "Captain" Hepburn, passing himself off as head of a security firm employed by the bank's head office to tour the branches to see their security is up to snuff. He is really the head of a slick band of bank robbers, although you only see him, but he succeeds in ingratiating himself with the staff, something Fordyce has never been able to do, by donating a fiver to their office party. The put upon staff have been too frightened to bring up the subject of a Christmas party with the manager for fear of being shot down in flames.

Pearson proves a bit of a red herring, he is just about to witness his whole life go up in smoke, could he be up to doing something not "above board"? - but in reality it is his suspicion that saves the day. He has already got in touch with the head office security and realises there is every reason to worry - when Fordyce is still trying to butter up to Hepburn who can see at a glance what the staff really think of their manager!! Hepburn has made it his duty to research each bank worker - he knows Pearson has his worries, that another staff member has just won a chess club tournament and that Fordyce's wife has more fear of him than love. Andre Morrel, a staple of British movies and TV from the 40s, 50s and 60s, is just superb as the villain with the human touch, a very uncommon thief!!

Highly Recommended.
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A small but worthwhile thriller
JasparLamarCrabb8 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This Hammer production is not like any other. There's no monster to be found and Peter Cushing plays the (mostly) good guy! He's the Scrooge-like manager of a bank, visited upon by an insurance inspector (André Morell) only to find out he's been duped into assisting in a robbery. Based on a play but nevertheless suspenseful enough to be cinematic. Director Quentin Lawrence wisely keeps his camera moving...whizzing between rooms and up & down stairs. Cushing is dynamite in a role that elicits sympathy despite the fact that he's a mean-spirited company man...goading his underlings with petty complaints (the bank pens are not up to snuff) and constantly reminding them of their workplace class structure where he is, of course, on top. Morell is quite good as well, straddling between efficiency and pure evil. One flaw: what could have been quite an ironic ending is dulled by too much explication. Richard Vernon is exceptional as Cushing's nervous subordinate.
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Cash on Demand
henry8-325 May 2021
Peter Cushing is the rigid, unappreciative manager of a small bank branch. Andre Morrell, claiming to be a security consultant for the company, is in fact a ruthless bank robber who tells Cushing that if he doesn't comply his wife and child will be killed.

Enjoyable enough British chamber piece with good performances by the 2 leads backed up by a solid enough script. It doesn't exactly set the world alight but it's enjoyable and believable with a bit of fun at the end.
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Cash on Demand (1962) ***
JoeKarlosi3 June 2010
A terrificly gripping suspense film from Hammer Studios, with a magnificent performance from Peter Cushing, easily one of the most potent of his career. Cushing plays the cold and regimented Mr. Fordyce, a fussy and demanding manager of a bank who rules over his subordinate employees like a tyrant. Just two days before Christmas, the dedicated Fordyce is placed up against the wall when a suave and smooth-talking investigator named Hepburn (Andre Morell) arrives to observe operations but reveals that he intends to rob the bank while holding Fordyce's wife and son hostage. Fordyce's iron-willed demeanor is continually pecked at under the strain of the situation, especially knowing that if he does not cooperate his family may be killed.

As with the jury room setting in 12 ANGRY MEN, the strongest factor of this film lies in its simplicity (all the action takes place inside the bank), and it draws the viewer in just through the intense interplay of Cushing and Morell alone, who each excel in their parts. Also very good is Richard Vernon as a likable clerk who's always under the thumb of the unsympathetic Fordyce. Not giving up any spoilers here, I would say my only quibbles were that the outcome was fairly predictable, and that a certain explanation about the Hepburn character at the end (to be vague here) was unnecessary. *** out of ****
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masonfisk6 January 2020
A 1961 Hammer film starring their go to guy Peter Cushing. Unlike most Hammer product, this is a taut, edge of the seat thriller when a bank manager is confronted w/a bank robber who may or may not be holding his wife & child hostage unless he agrees to a robbery. Shot on practically one set, the story unfolds in real time as the charismatic villain, played Andre Morell, controls the story from the moment he enters the establishment. Suave, gentlemanly & professional, Morell is a bad guy for the ages who even when threatening another man's family makes the viewer feel engaged in a perverse way. Shown on Noir Alley during the holidays on TCM, host Eddie Muller rightfully compared the film to A Christmas Carol as we see the fastidious Cushing, who at the film's open is a bit of a tyrant (or Scrooge) to his charges, soon has to rely on them as the film hurtles towards its nail biting conclusion.
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Proof that Hammer made fine movies away from their trademark gothic horrors.
jamesraeburn20033 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Harry Fordyce (Peter Cushing) is a strict, exacting and rather mean spirited bank manager who is unpopular with everyone (including his staff) who dislike his fussy and micro management style. But, his life is dramatically changed one Christmas when he is visited by a smooth bank robber called Colonel Gore Hepburn (Andre Morell). Posing as a representative from an insurance company to secure access into the bank, he threatens Fordyce with the lives of his wife and son in order to force him into helping him steal £97.000 from the vault. But, is the Colonel all that he appears to be and could the ordeal encourage Fordyce to become a better man?

If proof were ever needed to show that Hammer could make worthwhile movies away from their trademark gothic horrors then this deeply felt 'B' pic crime drama could well be it. It has been described as the studio's take on A Christmas Carol and that is a fair comment since the plot revolves around Cushing's mean spirited banker ( a sort of Ebeneezer Scrooge character) who is encouraged to change his ways by Morell's cunning and undeniably ruthless crook, but who also has a deep interest in people and their character with a generous kind hearted streak in him. He acts as Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future all rolled into one, but the difference here is that he is a more earthly spirit. Directed by the underrated Quentin Lawrence whose credits include such TV classics as The Avengers, Gideon's Way and instalments the long running British soap opera Coronation Street does an incredible job of sustaining the suspense and intrigue, which is especially remarkable since 99.9% of the plot unfolds from a single set. He is much aided in this by the sharp editing of Eric Boyd Perkins. The audience is teased and kept guessing all the way as we wonder if Morell's villain is really what he claims to be. For instance, by the way he forever encourages Cushing to value his family more and to treat his staff with more respect - he forces him to contribute to the fund for their works' Christmas do - if the robbery could be make believe and perhaps an elaborate charade laid on by either his colleagues or his family to get him to see the error of his ways. Or, perhaps it is genuine since a number of incidents occur along the way which threaten to compromise the success of the job and we are kept on the edge of our seats wondering if the wife and son (whom we only hear on a telephone and see in a photograph) are about to be really imperilled. The performances from Cushing and Morell, two of Hammer's greatest stars, are a joy to behold and it will amuse you to see how seriously the former always took his parts by the immense attention to detail he put into them.

All in all, a gem from the Hammer studio that should on no accounts be missed by its fans and lovers of great movies alike.
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a solid caper flick
dr_foreman2 February 2005
When I was a teenager, Peter Cushing was my favorite actor; I simply loved his commanding performances in Hammer Studios' horror films. But when I eventually became more interested in dramas and foreign flicks, my appreciation for both Cushing and Hammer waned. I started to wish that Cushing had taken meatier roles in less lurid movies.

Thankfully, I just had the chance to see "Cash on Demand," a film that stretches Cushing's acting ability farther than most of his horror efforts. It's still a genre film – you could label it a crime/film noir movie – but nevertheless, it's got far more dramatic content and character development than the average Hammer film. Cushing is really superb as the cantankerous bank manager; his character is initially quite unpleasant, but as the plot unfolds he becomes gradually, genuinely more sympathetic.

It would be remiss of me to praise Cushing and forget to mention Andre Morell, who plays the debonair bank robber. His performance is wonderfully smug and, for lack of a better word, cool. The two actors have a great rapport throughout the movie, and together they hold the viewer's attention without the aid of any flashy sets or action sequences.

Clearly a modest movie, made for less money than it takes to film a TV show today, "Cash on Demand" is nevertheless a solid caper flick that deserves the attention of movie fans – particularly those who, like me, are interested in seeing Cushing flex his acting muscles outside the realm of vampires and other forms of animated corpses.
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