Sunday, 9 May 2010

PAYROLL (1961)

Okay, it wasn't the great heist film I remember but it is an extremely good heist movie with lots of interesting points and a few faults. On the plus side is the bleak Newcastle Upon Tyne setting which is perfectly captured by the bleak black and white photography. The cast is uniformly excellent with Michael Craig interestingly cast against type as the ruthless leader of the gang and Billie Whitelaw as the wife of one of their victims who decides to take the law into her own hands. Other gang members include the ever watchable Kenneth Griffith, Tom Bell and Barry Keegan. Francoise Prevost is particularly good as the totally mercenary wife of the man who sells info to the gang and her scene towards the end of the movie in a garage washroom deserves applause. There are a few plot holes but nothing too serious and William Lucas, an actor I always enjoyed on television and in British B-movies tends to overact during his most stressful moments in the film as Prevost's husband. The armoured car robbery itself is excellently handled. If you enjoy old English thrillers you'll like this. Sidney Hayers was an uneven director but given the right material as with NIGHT OF THE EAGLE and here he could deliver. Rating ***

No comments: