Perfect Friday (1970) Poster

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Enjoyable, Entertaining
erolgalip26 September 2004
I don't know why, but every time I think of this film, I'm reminded of "Fish Called Wanda, A". John Cleese, and Stanley Baker seem to be almost impersonating each other. They both play stuffy, uptight people, who end up becoming mixed up in some sort of convoluted plot involving grand larceny, etc. (after being introduced to some glamorous female). And there's the third party - in "Fish Called ...", it's the incredibly stupid American (Kevin Kline), however in this film, it seems to be the equally daft Earl of Dorset (David Warner). Both films end up with a sort of race to Heathrow Airport, but the similarities in plot-lines end about 5 minutes before the closing titles. I did like the way the robbery was handled (very cute) - particularly the 'phone conversation between Mr Graham's immediate superior and the parts played by both David Warner and Ursula Andress in the adjacent office. Some nice shots also of seventies London, and great comments by the Earl of Dorset on British Rail (as it was then known).
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10/10
double crossing partners execute bank heist set in London.
rugis25 July 1999
An excellent, intricate bank heist involving three uneasy partners (baker, andress and warner) who plot a raid on the vaults of baker's firm. The plan is aborted on several tries amidst great tension, until the elements finally fall into place on a "perfect friday". The added suspense of who will double cross who, along with a great finale, make for a fun film that has aged well in the subsequent hi-tech
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6/10
Too gimmicky, but suspenseful.
gridoon10 August 2001
In the first half, the elliptical narrative is very confusing for a first-time viewer; throughout the movie, the direction is sometimes unnecessarily gimmicky, employing fast cutting and close-ups a little too often. Still, the movie has some truly suspenseful set pieces (where you're afraid that even an accidental "wrong" glance may destroy everything), several nude scenes with Ursula Andress and a kicker of an ending. Much better than "Dollars" with Warren Beatty. (**1/2)
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5/10
NOT Perfect, but still pretty good
JasparLamarCrabb26 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Certainly entertaining but far from a perfect heist film. Stanley Baker is a seemingly uptight bank manager (he wears a black bowler and carries a black umbrella ALWAYS) who ropes in destitute "lord" David Warner and his sexy wife (Ursula Andress) into taking part in a very convoluted plot to steal a ton of money. Director Peter Hunt relies on a lot of long shots and zooms, presumably in an attempt to build suspense, but more often than not coming off as padding. There's not much here beyond the undeniable chemistry of the three leads. Baker is terrific (cast against type as a nervous nebbish) and Warner is decidedly creepy donning various wigs and outrageous suits. Andress comes off best, giving a very funny performance.
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"Oh! How Complicated!"
stryker-520 November 1999
A disgruntled London bank manager plans an ingenious crime: stealing a fortune from his own bank. For help, he enlists the services of an Old Etonian fop and his beautiful Swiss consort. Complex patterns of duplicity are woven as this 'eternal triangle' of characters sets about its plan of deceit.

Peter Hall and Stanley Baker, director and star respectively, are in pot-boiler mode for this unassuming little British crime thriller. Made in the year that the swinging sixties ended and The Beatles split, the project retains a distinct whiff of 'groovy' hangover, but lacks the charm of (say) 'The Italian Job'.

Hall directs with trendy panache, crash-cutting between locations and playfully chopping the time sequence. The protracted 'wooing' of the two accomplices is told as two discrete stories spliced together by jump-cuts, with almost stream-of-consciousness linkage (Graham's tie is commented upon, so we move without explanation to the circumstances in whih he acquired it). Similarly, Graham meets Britt for a date in broad daylight on the lawn of the Wellington Monument, then the action jumps to Britt in a flamboyant orange negligee. Again, Britt 'unfreezes' from a still frame, frantically pulling off her clothes in the lobby of the new flat, and it is several minutes before this is explained, in a sequence which shows Britt's activities leading up to the freeze-frame.

Ursula Andress plays Britt, the frivolous babe, with a certain feline grace and a penchant for gentle comedy, but one cannot help suspecting that the part was written with Britt Ekland in mind. David Warner as Nick is suitably by turns languid and unruly, and dominates the vault inspection scene impressively, but ultimately fails to endear himself to the viewer. Baker's "Mr. Graham" somehow doesn't come off. He is too overtly macho to be convincing as a meek bank employee, and too sullen to engage our sympathy.

However, this is not a film which relies on overblown acting performances. The precise, almost mechanical directing reflects the immaculate planning of Graham's bank robbery. Just as the meticulous scheme is more important than the three pieces of human flotsam who execute it, so the artifice of film-making takes precedence over the performances.

The stifling routine of life in the National Metropolitan Bank is cleverly conveyed, with the managers partitioned like so many rabbits in their glass hutches. Into Graham's arid, stifled existence comes Britt, Lady Dorset, an exotic bird of paradise who dangles temptation before his jaded eyes. Graham's meeting with Nick is a chiaroscuro tour de force, the sombre patterns of bars and grilles ominously signalling the riskiness of the venture. When the three plotters finally meet face to face on the Thames pleasure cruiser, the psychological impact of the moment is cleverly underlined by the group's sudden emergence from the shadow of Westminster Bridge.

There has to be tension in bank job movies, and it is skilfully handled in this one. Graham hooks up a secret telephone handset in his office as Nick and Britt await the call which will activate the robbery. There is no incidental music, just the ticking of the couple's stopwatch and some background noises of office routine, and yet the sequence is totally gripping. The nervousness of Graham in the public call box is 'carried' to his accomplices in the nearby flat by means of a passing police siren, heard first by Graham and then by the others. The silence is electrifying as Graham helplessly awaits the outcome of the vault inspection.

Not all of the directorial tricks come off. Whether the bank manager's bowler hat and brolly are 'hommage' towards Alec Guinness in "The Lavender Hill Mob" or the clumsy, ritualistic anti-Establishment jibe so typical of the era, it just doesn't work. The reality is, bank managers did not dress like this, even in 1970, and whereas Guinness was a 'natural' in a bowler, Baker looks extremely uncomfortable.

Some of the camera techniques are questionable. The distracting zoom-in on each manager's namecard is obtrusive and unnecessary. The odd angles for the first dialogue between Graham and Britt are an echo of the 'fab' style current five years earlier, and they look wrong here. In fairness, though, the strange angles during the paper-and bank-notes switch may have some merit as a satirical comment on the worth of money. Cutting away from Graham's picnic to a passing jumbo jet (a sexy innovation in 1970) is supposed to encapsulate Graham's fantasies of escape, but it merely looks clumsy.

This film has its merits, and is intelligently executed on the whole, but ultimately it feels rather shallow and unsatisfying, an impression that is symbolised by the unconvincing 'surprise' ending.
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8/10
Perfect any day of the week
tomsview24 June 2016
"Perfect Friday" has a light touch without losing tension. Stanley Baker obviously relished the role of Mr. Graham, the seemingly straight-laced and dependable assistant bank manager who enlists a couple of unlikely associates, and hatches a plot to rip off the bank.

David Warner's performance as Lord Dorset could stand as a classic reason why hereditary peers of the realm were phased out of seats in the House of Lords, especially when he dozes during a session in parliament. Dorset is supercilious, indolent and broke, but is married to a hot foreign body, Lady Brit (Ursula Andress).

Good as Stanley Baker and David Warner are, it's Ursula Andress who gives the film its sparkle. This is the kind of role that was made for her, a femme fatale with a touch of wit. Her voice was dubbed in some of her roles before this, including "Dr No", but her strong accent works well here.

According to Wikipedia she appeared nude or semi-nude in 9 of her 14 film roles between 1969 and 1979 - "Perfect Friday" is one of them - when she is on screen she upstages her two co-stars at every turn, and they hardly stand a chance against her in the bedroom.

It's also fascinating to see the world they inhabit - it's 1970 and there isn't a desktop computer or mobile phone in site. The caper they commit would probably be very difficult today with things like biometric security with fingerprint, iris and DNA scanners - not to mention vein recognition. These days Lord Dorset's disguise in "Perfect Friday" would fail from about the time he closed the door of his flat to head to the bank. But that's now, and the scam they pull off back then is clever and reasonably plausible.

If I have one reservation it would be the music. John Dankworth scored many films around the 60's and 70's, and for the most part they fitted like a glove - I particular liked his "Return from the Ashes". Unfortunately, he was a little over emphatic and obvious here. It's as though he thought it's a comedy so a touch of the circus should be about right. It would have benefited from something a little more understated.

However, it doesn't ruin the movie, and Stanley Baker was rightly proud of the finished work. As far as caper films are concerned, "Perfect Friday" is just about perfect.
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8/10
Very much a fun movie with a lovely performance from Ursula Andress
christopher-underwood24 August 2014
A film about a complicated bank robbery. Doesn't sound too exciting does it? It starts very well with particularly stylish look and intriguing set up. The surprising thing is, that it continues like this throughout. Some complain about Peter Hall's 'clumsy' direction and I admit there are one or two moments when you wonder, why he did this or that but in the main its fine. I also imagined the robbery might get a bit tedious but no and we even get some humour, which considering how well Warner and Andress deal with it, we could perhaps have done with some more. But no matter, Andress shines throughout this film and the fact that she is naked for a lot of it is simply a bonus. Stanley Baker works very well with her, I wasn't sure about bed scenes with the pair of them, but its all good and this has to be one of his very best performances. Warner is maybe the only person who is a bit inconsistent but then considering the personae he has to convey he can be forgiven.
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10/10
Riveting!
gregkae17 February 2012
I did enjoy the script tight like Urusla's thighs, razor sharp dialogue, the love triangle, the comedy and the build up. One will see the ending from a mile, another won't see it coming at all. The fact it's shot in the money crazed city of London adds to the experience. Also the portrayal of the English-men with all their pretentiousness and stiffness in all the wrong places makes it a rewarding poke. The movie is directed with a swiss watchmaker's precision, twists and turns abound and it's just plain old fun, fun, fun! Clearly the cast, the writer and the director all wink towards the viewer and if you fail to notice you'll die of boredom.
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6/10
Not so perfect Thursday night
philkessell24 June 2006
Well I won't give the ending away folks, but you will see it coming a MILE OFF!!

Stanley Baker, in his last film performance, plays a tired, jaded under manager in a bank he's worked at for the past ten thousand years. He longs to escape the futile tedium of work, but is, on the surface at least resigned (and apparently content) to working out his days in a gold fishbowl office where his superiors can see him but he can't see them.

'I'm poor and broke' he sighs as he neatly summarises his attitude to 'work'. If we all have to do it (as most of us sadly do) we might as well acquire as much financial gain as we can. Very early on, it's clear that Baker's character is already painfully aware that he has gone as far as he is going to go, and that alternative action is required if he is not to give way to perpetual professional atrophy.

So, in comes Britt (can't think where they got that foreign sounding name or accent from, eh chaps). I disagree with some who say that Andress can't act. True, her range is limited, but so were those of luminaries like Bogart, so I feel it's a little unfair to admonish her professional credentials in this way. Also, let's not deny that there are worse things to clock within the cinematic pantheon that Andress's 'undress', and there's plenty of that here. I make this point from a purely 'cinematic' perspective, you understand.

True, the characters are all pretty unlikeable, Warner's in particular, yet it's interesting to see him turn from repellent upper class knob into Baker's whipping boy, mysteriously travelling up and down the country for no apparent reason. (What was THAT all about?) His gesture of defiance towards the end just comes across as toothless, when it's obvious to all who the real winner of the piece is going to be....

Anyway, not bad as it goes, but far from perfect. I always love films for this era (1969-72), just for the 'feel' of the piece, and the washed out yet oddly warm feel of the print itself. As one other reviewer said, there are still traces of 'swinging' London to be found here (in the feel of the film and knowing it was made in 1970), whereas by 1972, that eponymous decade had cinema well and truly contained within it's er' 'distinctive' sartorial grip. We're on the cusp here folks, and all the better for it.

Worth watching, but don't expect to remember it tomorrow.
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3/10
Not really my cup of tea
jim-122523 June 2006
Appreciation of this film depends very much on taste. Although it foundered for me, the plot was interesting and many might find it an enjoyable viewing. Mr Graham (Stanley Baker), Lord Nick (David Warner) & Lady Britt (Ursula Andress) all played their parts in an intelligent and consistent way, and Mr Smith (T P McKenna) stood out simply by good acting as a normal individual. Clearly, Lady Britt had few inhibitions, being quite happy to run around the house in the buff, and seeming equally at ease sleeping naked with both Mr Graham and her husband. Separately, I might add!

As a person who values integrity, commitment and knows the reality of 'happy ever after', it's hardly surprising that a film about deceit, theft, greed and infidelity doesn't grab me. While Lady Britt is undoubtedly physically attractive and has the warmest personality of the three lead characters, she just ain't my kinda gal. OK, I'm taking it all far too seriously, but my greatest enjoyment comes from entertainment that leaves me with a feeling of warmth, and a hope for the future for the principal characters. The most distasteful aspect of this movie for me were a couple of nasty blasphemies - bang went three of the ten stars straight away!

Altogether, an amusing and interesting film with a good plot that was cleverly revealed, but (Sorry!) not really my cup of tea.
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7/10
Underrated Andress steels the Movie
aceellaway201013 January 2015
It's unfortunate that this movie happened close to the end of Ursula's most successful years, as she is easily the best thing in it.

Looking absolutely gorgeous-in or out of her clothes- and it must be said she is treated very much as a sex object in places, she is seen fully frontal nude, while the men (admittedly pretty unattractive are kept under wraps, but you can't help seeing it as sexist and exploitative to a degree. But she is still funny and entertaining in this underrated movie.

Somewhat of it's time =swinging London etc, but nevertheless deserved to be seen more than it was.
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2/10
I Can't Believe The High Rating
Theo Robertson24 September 2004
Heist movies play out in an identical formula :

Character A meets character B who introduces them to character C . They pull off a scam and it becomes a race for characters A, B and C to stab each other in the back

The only difference between PERFECT Friday and other heist movies is that this one is possibly the worst directed one of the lot . Watch the scene near the start when Britt is introduced to Mr Hall in the bank . There supposed to be facing each other but by some ridiculous editing it looks like they're talking to each other's backs when the camera cuts between them . I also couldn't help noticing the poor sound editing which makes every interior scene sound like it was filmed in an empty room regardless of the location

Even people who liked this movie mention Peter Hall's bizarre directing . I'm not mentioning it - I'm complaining about and helps make an already boring and unlikely story unwatchable , and I'm shocked that PERFECT Friday has an average user rating of 6.9
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