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Armored Car Robbery ( Armoured Car Robbery ) [DVD]
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Spain released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), Spanish ( Mono ), Spanish ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Dave Purvis takes pride in being unknown to the law, though famed among fellow crooks as a planner. He plots a holdup in meticulous detail; but things go wrong, a cop and two robbers are killed, and Purvis hides out with the money while Lieut. Cordell, friend of the dead cop, investigates. Purvis's new getaway plan shows promise, but may have one tiny flaw.
...Armored Car Robbery ( Armoured Car Robbery )
Good competent second feature with Los Angeles locations and detailed observation of police methods --Halliwells Film Guide --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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When a meticulously planned robbery goes wrong, Dave Purvis (Talman) and his gang find there's a particularly driven copper closing in on them.
The caper premise has served film noir well over the years, and while Armored Car Robbery is not the hidden gem some have called it (it's no Asphalt Jungle for instance), it is still an effectively tough piece of film. The structure used by Fleischer and the writers is to show the robbery early in the piece and then unfurl the aftermath for the majority of the film. Characterisations are classic noir, the tough gang leader who consistently changes his identity to fool the cops, the foxy dame who is turning heads and is having relationships with two of the gang, the cannon fodder, the dope and the tough as nails copper who will stop at nothing to bring the bad guys down.
The pace of the story is sedate, but this is no bad thing as we get attention to detail with the manhunt and the respective psychological make ups of the thieves. The two-timing aspect in the plot adds spice (this also allows Fleischer to throw in a number of shots of Jergens doing her burlesque routine), as does the deaths of men either side of the law. The look is terrific, with high contrast photography, deep focus shots and some expressionistic lighting, all putting a splendid noir sheen over the skillful blend of studio and location (Los Angeles) sequences. Cast are on good form, especially McGraw and Talman (though Brodie is sadly under used), and Webb's score is period and story reflective.
From the smoke bomb cloaked robbery that thrills early in proceedings, to the breath holding finale played out on an airport runway, Armored Car Robbery is a sturdy and solid RKO noir that is comfortably recommended to fans of the noir cycle. 7/10
The robbery itself was not amazing but was elevated by a surprise in the approach and the pursuit was not let down by any silly turns. They weren't afraid to take their time and follow sensible leads and some good fortune which made this a sold film especially with some good twists and turn along the way when you thought capture was a imminent certainty.
This black and white film was made in 1950 and the style of the filming was good and I believe noir, though I wouldn't say it was that thickly noir. Not a bad short heist film.
The story is about a successful robbery of an armoured money truck which has just made it's last pickup at a racetrack, and the story of how the whole endeavour starts to rapidly come unwound.
As of this writing the ONLY legitimate version of this film on DVD is this Region 2 release from Spain. (The above rating is for this release). The transfer is fine however there is inexplicably NO option to removing the Spanish subtitles from the English audio soundtrack. Therefore the only way I can figure to make a proper presentation is to perfectly synch up a copy of the DVD in Spanish audio (without subtitles)and play it (without the audio)with the original DVD with English audio only (and no picture playing) unless someone out there has a better idea?
We had no issue on subtitles as I believe from one reviewer the subtitles couldn't be switched off/removed.
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