The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Caper  |   Release Date - May 17, 1960 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A moderately engaging caper film, The Day They Robbed the Bank of England should have been a much better film than it is. Not that Bank is bad; indeed, it's a fairly engrossing little movie. But caper films in general need to be a lot of fun, even when they're serious. Bank somehow is too labored, as though director John Guillermin didn't want the audience to laugh too much. Bank also suffers from serious miscasting in its lead role. Aldo Ray is certainly a physically prepossessing actor, and in the right role he works well. But Ray's persona does not project intelligence and cunning, two qualities that are essential to the character of Norgate and the absence of which damages Bank significantly. Fortunately, the supporting cast of dependable character actors such as Hugh Griffith and Albert Sharpe (and non-character actors such as Kieron Moore) are in fine form. But the film really belongs to a very young Peter O'Toole, who manages to steal it away from the other, much more seasoned performers, with his quietly commanding performance. The Day They Robbed the Bank of England is not a great film, but it's worth a look, especially for O'Toole.