The caper movie was all the rage in the 1970s, especially after the
1972 film The Hot Rock had shown critics and audiences just how good a
well-thought-out caper film could be. The Hot Rock was based on a novel
by Donald E. Westlake, and it is another Westlake novel that provides
the inspiration this time around, as Gower Champion takes to the
directorial chair for Bank Shot.
Criminal genius Walter Ballantine (George C. Scott) is approached while doing time in a desert penitentiary and asked to participate in a bank heist. First he needs to bust out of jail, which he does with a little help from a bulldozer and sexy lady-crook El (Joanna Cassidy). El is just one of a team of villainous oddballs with whom Ballantine will be carrying out his next villainous project. The others include Al G. Karp (Sorrell Booke), Victor Karp (Bob Balaban), Herman X (Frank McRae), and Mums (Bibi Osterwald). Their plan is to rob a bank and, after careful planning, Ballantine comes up with the ingenious idea of stealing the entire building. It seems that the bank in question is a rather small building, rather like a portable wooden home or caravan. With incredible audacity, the team of criminals steal the building one night by putting it on wheels and disguising it so that it appears like a trailer home. Having booked their new "house" into a trailer park while the heat cools, the gang of misfits seem to have succeeded with their brilliant robbery. But there's a final twist in store as obsessed cop Bulldog Streiger (Clifton James) a long-time nemesis of Ballantine's - refuses to give in without a fight .
Bank Shot is a short, snappy and frequently very funny film. Scott proves himself a surprisingly capable comedian in a role that is far removed from the likes of "Dr. Strangelove" and "Patton" (the latter of which had earned him an Oscar). In fact, the whole cast sizzle in this wacky film, most notably Clifton James as the persistent cop whose goal in life is to nail Walter Ballantine whatever the cost. What really helps the film is the fact that the heist is so unique and unusual no mere robbery here, but the very clever and very amusing concept of the crooks stealing the entire building. It's just outrageous enough to add a delightfully zany edge to the proceedings. The film is tightly paced and runs for a mere 80 minutes or so, which may sound somewhat brief but actually works in the film's favour, making the events move along with urgency rather than dwelling on superfluities. Wendell Mayes deserves credit for this, having done a splendid job of adapting the Westlake novel for his screenplay. There are occasional shades of heavy-handedness, such as a silly final sequence in which Scott is cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean, but these misjudgements are few and far between and do not particularly ruin one's enjoyment of the film.
Action / Comedy / Crime
Action / Comedy / Crime
A bank, temporarily housed in a mobile home while a new building is built, looks like an easy target. On the other hand, why not steal the whole bank and rob it in a safer location?
Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 0 times
August 16, 2015 at 12:48 PM