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Payroll [DVD]


Price: £10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Payroll [DVD] + Robbery [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Craig, Françoise Prévost, Billie Whitelaw, William Lucas, Kenneth Griffith
  • Directors: Sidney Hayers
  • Writers: Derek Bickerton, George Baxt
  • Producers: Julian Wintle, Norman Priggen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Feb 2008
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UYBOXS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,395 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A handsome small-time crook carries out a heist on a payroll van. But he hasn't reckoned on the determination of the company owner to recover the money. British thriller starring Michael Craig and Billie Whitelaw.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Mr. David Rayner on 14 Feb 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Brilliant! Brutal!...TORN FROM TONIGHT'S HEADLINES!", exclaimed the poster for this highly suspenseful and thrilling British crime drama from 1961. It's about the meticulously planned robbery of a £100,000 payroll from a seemingly impregnable armoured security van in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where it was filmed on location, by crooks Michael Craig (the leader); Tom Bell; Kenneth Griffith and Barry Keegan. The robbery goes wrong. Although the gang gets away with the money, the security van driver and one of the gang are killed. The rest of the film is concerned with the hunt for the gang by the police and the security van driver's widow (a wonderfully understated performance of a woman bent on revenge by Billie Whitelaw) and the action and tension never lets up.

French star Francoise Prevost is excellent as Katie Pearson, the embittered; selfish and self-centred wife of inside man Dennis Pearson (William Lucas), a nervous wreck if ever there was one whom you just know from the beginning is going to crack and give the game away before the film is over. In fact, Prevost is so good in the role, that she BECOMES Katie Pearson...a woman who has everything a man could want...at a price.

I went to see this film at the cinema when I was 14 in 1961 and thought it was one of the best British films of the year. The robbery is so well planned and executed that I wouldn't be surprised if some real gang of crooks had copied it sometime during the past 47 years. The film is hard-hitting and suspensefully directed in black and white by Sidney Hayers and very well acted. Reg Owen's theme music (which I still have on an old 45 rpm single on the Palette label) compliments the film superbly.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Baz on 17 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not much to add to the previous reviews except to say that this is a well directed, well acted and certainly entertaining crime romp, made all the more watchable by the inclusion of the beautiful and elegant Francoise Prevost and a young, dazzlingly gorgeous Billie Whitelaw. Well worth the price of the DVD for just her scenes...

Initially, I had my doubts about Michael Craig in a villain role, but he does manage to give a creditable performance (would have liked to have had Connery or Stanley Baker though which would have lifted it a couple of notches higher IMHO).

I love British films from this period. Sadly, there aren't too many of them about, so we have to get what we're given. But don't listen to the sourpuss naysayers. This is one of the best from the early sixties and stands repeated viewings, so definitely one for the collection. Both film transfer and sound quality are superb, too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Guineapig EGM on 21 Mar 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Entertaining bullion van robbery film. Main interest is to see the changes in Newcastle City Centre buildings and streets and its surroundings when traffic was almost non-existant. The old cars and busses look even older than the film - early 1960's. Similar to Get Carter it paints a grim grey place to live & work, compared to the superb environment Newcastle presents today.The improvements in the city have to be seen to be believed and appreciated. Well worth a look, it will bring back memories for anyone who has lived in the area for many years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Mccourt on 21 Mar 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was the forerunner to the much acclaimed 'Get Carter', as in, it was set completely in & around the city of Newcastle-upon Tyne.
It tells the story of a gang of crooks who pull off 'The One' big robbery that will set them up for life, but not all runs smooth & eventually the success of the heist rests on weather or not each member can hold their individual nerve.
Gritty & gripping from start to finish with the added interest of some familiar settings in the city itself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sprocket on 13 April 2009
Format: DVD
Great film, especially for the Geordies who are interested in how Newcastle looked in the 60s. Not many films made in Newcastle, Get Carter and Payroll, both worth a place in your collection
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By SharonVespaGirl on 1 Feb 2009
Format: DVD
I bought this DVD on the strength of the other reviews, and it didn't disappoint. I'm keen on British films from this period, and this is an very good example. It's defintely worth the few pounds that Aamzon are asking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave on 28 Aug 2009
Format: DVD
All in all "Payroll" is a true classic of British crime cinema with almost zero faults (you could pick at the fact that even in 1961 fingerprint records would be a powerful tool and yet none of the gang wear gloves as they all touch endless incriminating objects), a great score, masterful direction, pitch perfect acting by a superb cast, wonderful set-pieces, gritty atmosphere and a well constructed, multi-character, plot that holds everything together tightly to ensure nothing but audience satisfaction is delivered.

Oh, and just to show how times have changed, look out for the scene where Tom Bell casually tosses his cigarette on the ground at what will become the scene of the robbery.
In today's "CSI" world, where DNA rules the roost, it screams out at you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Aug 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Payroll is directed by Sidney Hayers and adapted to screenplay by George Baxt from the novel written by Derek Bickerton. It stars Michael Craig, Françoise Prévost, Billie Whitelaw, William Lucas, Kenneth Griffith, Tom Bell and Barry Keegan. Music is by Reg Owen and cinematography by Ernest Steward.

A vicious gang of crooks raid an armoured van carrying the wages of the local factory. When all doesn't go to plan and the driver of the van is killed, the gang start to come apart from within, just as the police and a vengeful widow close in on them...

As tough as old boots! Out of Beaconsfield Studios, Payroll is the kind of British neo-noir that is adored by those that have seen it and yet it still remains a sleeper. Set up in the North East of England in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, there's a real sense of working class struggle pulsing through the picture. The character dynamics at work are nothing new in the history of the heist gone wrong movie, but the makers here insert two ladies into the equation and let them be prominent antagonists, and with some conviction as well. Time is afforded build up of characters, letting us into home lives and the planning of the crime, and then bam! It's the robbery and it pulls no punches.

Story is not without violence, and murders are coldly executed, and as the band of thieves begin to crack, led by ice cold scumbag Johnny Mellors (Craig), director Hayers puts them into a world of grim alleyways, terrace houses, back street pubs, sweat stained garages, marshy bogs and an imposing dockside ripe for a denouement.
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