Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.A six year old boy is trapped in a bank safe on a Friday afternoon that has a time lock on it so that it won’t open until Monday morning. Parents are worried. Bank officials are worried. Police/doctors/ Canada are worried.
But I’m not bothered.
Why? Well let’s put it this way. It’s a commercial film made in the late 1950’s. You may not know the route but it’s obvious what the destination will be. Essentially it’s a fancy updating of the child falling in a well tales.
And therein lies this movie’s biggest problem. Once you realise that then there’s no tension. You watch it as if forced to see a recording of a sports match where you already know the score. And rather like when you’re forced to watch the sports game your mind starts to wander.
The first thing I notice is that it’s based on a play by Arthur Hailey. Now I’ve mentioned before that he is one of my favourite “bestseller” writers (ie a writer who has deliberately set out to write a bestseller). Even as a child of about ten I’d worked out his formula. Set the story mainly in one large location like an airport. Scatter characters with different stories as if throwing jigsaw pieces on a table and then slowly piece it all together.
This was obviously written before he’d worked the formula out. Here the characters with really one exception are immediately at the bank trying to get the boy out (yawn).
The other real surprise is that the screenplay is written by Peter Thomas and produced by his brother Gerald. The people responsible for the Carry On movies. No intentional laughs here folks though. A few unintentional ones mind. Like the scene early on where the bank manager rings head office asking for the phone number of a director to tell him what’s happened. Firstly as it’s the weekend head office has shut down so the janitor answers. Secondly he gives the bank manager the number without any security checks whatsoever!
It’s set in Alberta but made on the thinnest of shoestrings in Britain. Given there are a few scenes away from the bank you really could have just put [Insert North American city here]. No geographical landmarks here folks.
Acted by people I’ve never heard of before (that of course means nothing) but with one exception. It was Sean Connery’s first speaking role. What was the acting like? Let’s put it this way. The best performer was the safe
Black and white and in every respect cheap all over if you like full on blowtorch action then this is the movie for you. Otherwise lock yourself away for it’s duration.