A bright assistant D.A. investigates a gruesome hatchet murder and hides a clue he found at the crime scene. Under professional threats and an attempt on his life, he goes on heartbroken because evidence point to the woman he still loves.
After a long spate of bad luck, the little criminal Tony and his gang successfully rob one of Brink's security transports, taking $30,000. Surprisingly their coup doesn't make the press. Curious Tony checks out their headquarters and finds out that their security standard is low beyond belief. Now a really big coup is prepared...Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
William Friedkin directs this period heist black comedy based on true facts and it is very different from the rest of his output.
Peter Falks plays Tony Pino a small time Boston petty crook. Even after being released from jail he and his bumbling gang which includes brother in law Vinnie (Allen Garfield) struggle to pull off a decent job such as robbing a bubble gum factory.
Pino notices that the local Brink's warehouse has lax security. When he cases the joint he notices that Brink's is too stingy to spend money in having a decent security system and he can just walk in. Their promotion of having an impregnable fortress is just baloney.
In 1950 Pino and his men stole over a million dollars in cash. FBI director J Edgar Hoover (Sheldon Leonard) took a personal interest in the robbery thinking it was the work of communists. He spent $25 million to try to apprehend the gang.
Friedkin displays a lightness of touch but the script has paper thin characters. The comedy and the heist needed more emphasis such as in the Italian film Persons Unknown, later remade by Louis Malle as Crackers. The casting of Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands harks back to the John Cassavetes dramas.
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