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Looking for an old B/W film of 50s/60s

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Showing 1-25 of 223 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Apr 2010, 12:16:28 BST
Shazzy says:
I am trying to find the title to an old movie. I saw it on British TV about 25 years ago. It was a black and white film, possibly made and set in the 50s or 60s. I thought it was a British film.

It had a gang trying to break into a bank to rob it. There was some planning involved. The only scene I remember is they park a big van outside the bank, they've cut a hole out in the floor of the van, through which they lift a manhole cover up out of the ground underneath and climb down into the sewers and so enter the bank that way. I have been trying to find this film for years. I thought possibly, it might have stared Sid James or some other of the well-known comedy Brit actors of the time, but on searching every way I can for the last 15 years, so far I cannot trace it at all.

I always thought it was a bumbling comedy crime film, but now I am doubting that it might have been a serious crime film. I am not sure if this is much to go on, but any kind of help would be most appreciated. Thanks for reading.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2010, 13:28:00 BST
DeficitDora says:
Might it be Basil Deardon's 1960 THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN? Screenplay by Bryan Forbes, cast including: Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, (wonderful as always as a louche conman), Roger Livesey, Richard Attenborough, Bryan Forbes and, briefly, Nanette Newman (in a bubble bath at the beginning of the film). It's certainly a black and white bank 'caper', and was on TV (possibly Channel 4) within the last year. I watched it only a few weeks ago (deleted now), and seem to remember a manhole featuring, but not sewers particularly. Check out http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/486309/index.html for further details. Hope this is the one - 15 years is a long time, but I do empathise. Best wishes, J. Dutoit

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2010, 13:59:31 BST
Last edited by the author on 29 Apr 2010, 14:01:32 BST
Shazzy says:
Thanks - but I've got that film. Its one of my many favourities - and unfortunately its not it. In The League of Gentlemen - the manhole is only used as cover for the workmen with a tent over to hide in, and the actual robbery is storming in through the front doors of the bank and holding them all up.

Thanks, I'll check that link, though I think I've exhausted most internet sites over the years. I am now resorting to reading through a Halliwell's book of all films to see if it jars anything - but if you know that book, its huge. But thanks again.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2010, 14:39:41 BST
DeficitDora says:
No problem, and good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2010, 21:11:50 BST
It's not the Lavender Hill Mob is it?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2010, 09:48:56 BST
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2010, 09:49:17 BST
Shazzy says:
Thanks for the reply - but unfortunately it isn't. Great film, but sadly not it. And its not Payroll, Strongroom, Two Way Stretch, or The Big Job either.

Posted on 1 May 2010, 09:36:04 BST
Tried Here? Put your Q to these guys...


In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2010, 15:24:00 BST
Hi I cant remember details of the film as ive not seen it for many, many years...but would it be the French film Rififi which was a classic then ( and now)!!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2010, 17:43:21 BST
Last edited by the author on 2 May 2010, 18:03:12 BST
S. Hopwood, think I know this film, starring Sid James, criminals came out of prison after a long time and went back to look for their buried treasure. Unfortunately, if I remember, it wasn't a bank, but a Police Station that had been built on top. Sure this is the one. Sort of comedy, but NOT CARRY ON.
I know this film, will have to have a think.
The Big Job (Sid James, Jim Dale)
Dont think it is this one, Sid James has 33 pages, gave up after page 3.
Try Wikipedia Sid James filmograhphy. This is pre-Carry on. He was in loads of films, before Carry. Hope this helps. There is also Too Many Crooks, but don't think it is that one either.
This is bugging me, could be "Talk of a Million" starring Jack Warner, you know Dixon of Dock Green. Can't find it on Amazon, but other sites might have it. I have a feeling this is the one. Also had Noel Purcell of Father Dear Father fame.
Plus Alfie Bass, Amazon definitely dont have it but look up Wikipedia and you will find another link to another site. "TALK OF A MILLION".

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010, 10:45:40 BST
Last edited by the author on 29 May 2012, 17:32:12 BST
Shazzy says:
Hi C. S. R. Lathrope - sorry its not this film either. Another one I do have and although a great classic, its not it. In Rififi they climb down through the roof.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010, 10:54:40 BST
Shazzy says:
The one with the Police Station is The Big Job, and its not that one. Its not Too Many Crooks either - I have both of them on dvd as I keep trying to find the one I'm after. I can't be too sure now that it did have Sid James in it at all ... its probably just a familiar face that might have seemed likely to slot in. I did try SJ's filmography but nothing seemed to fit right.

I haven't heard of Talk of a Million, I'll deffo look that up and see if it might fit. I had about 6 films that have been bugging me for years. I've managed to find out what 4 of them were, with a fair amount of research and I now own, even from across the pond over the years, but this one B/W and another film just seem to be completely elusive... but one day I'll find them.

Thanks for all your replies.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010, 11:10:59 BST
Msida says:
I may be The Lavender Hill Mob. I think Alec Guinness and Sid James where in it.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010, 11:18:00 BST
Last edited by the author on 4 May 2010, 11:25:37 BST
Shazzy says:
Thanks but unfortunately its not The Lavender Hill Mob either. Nor is it Crooks Anonymous. I have both of them too.

And having now looked it up, its not Talk of a Million either.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010, 14:25:40 BST
Last edited by the author on 4 May 2010, 14:27:06 BST
I think it is Talk of a Million, not on Amazon, but try All Movie site, which gives detailed synopsis of many unknown films. Found it on Wikipedia. It is on Sid James filmography, 50's film before he joined Carry On. Tried All Movie site, quickly looked, couldn't easily find it, but give it a go, just needs a bit more research. I have seen this on either Film4 or C4 years ago and thought it was quite good. Perhaps you could contact Film 4 site. Think it has got to be this one if synopsis I mentioned rings true. I think I found it under Noel Purcell films, you know Father Dear Father, but she was in loads of Hollywood major films too. Hope it helps. Try looking up other stars in this film. i.e. Alfie Bass.

Posted on 4 May 2010, 15:01:47 BST
Shazzy says:
I've tried again, but everything I seem to look for under "Talk of a Million", is about a poor Irish family thinking they may have come into some inheritance due to a rumour. That is from Louis D'Alton's play: They Got What They Wanted and I can't seem to find anything that suggests that the film or the play has a bank robbery in it at all, and nothing that hints at the film I'm looking for. The link below gives a good synopsis:


Thanks - I'm going to keep hunting though.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 May 2010, 02:03:08 BST
Hi from Australia - Hope you can help me find a movie I saw 20 years ago, driving everyone mad talking about it - it is possibly American.
Cosmetic surgeon sees woman with a bad scar on her face with her eye pulled down at the side. Surgeon operates - makes her beautiful - falls in love and marries her - she has an affair - his revenge is to fool her into making her more perfect - unwinds the bandages and he has reversed the surgery on her face.
Will also check out the website

In reply to an earlier post on 5 May 2010, 04:08:28 BST
Last edited by the author on 5 May 2010, 04:28:39 BST
and hi back from the New Forest, England.

What a strange movie Joyce, sounds a bit like Joan Crawford A Woman's Face, I think that's what it was called, starred Melvin Douglas as Plastic Surgeon and Conrad Veight as the baddie she falls in love with. I think, but can't remember the ending though. Perhaps there was a remake of this film. I have never seen the 1959, Eyes without a Face, but cult film, and great Billy Idol song.

And hello again S. Hopwood, it is really bugging me now, obviously not Think of a Million. BUT I KNOW THIS FILM AND CAN'T SEE IT LISTED ON WIKIPEDIA. No I just looked it up and film I am thinking of is THE BIG JOB, which you have said it is not.

Let us know what it is, if you find it, and if I manage to find it I will re-post. GOOD LUCK.

And Joyce, check out:
A Woman's Face (Region 2) Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas
Made in 1941.
[DVD]]]A Woman's Face (1941) Think this DVD has one review with details of plot.
Eyes Without A Face [1959] [DVD]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 May 2010, 09:02:25 BST
Thanks for your reply -- It's not A Woman's Face or Eyes without a Face, hope you continue to think !
Cheers, Joyce

In reply to an earlier post on 5 May 2010, 12:19:25 BST
Shazzy says:
Its been bugging me for years, yet when I mention it to people, they always say - oh thats so familiar I should know it, but nobody does. Which is very strange I think.

Yeah, i hoped for years it was The Big Job, till I finally got it and watched it and it doesn't have a robbery where they go down from the van through a manhole.

I can remember the scene so clearly of about 4 of them in this van, lifting up the manhole through the truck floor and climbing down into the sewer and it was definitely a B/W film. Perhaps its not a bank job, but they are definitely entering some premises to steal something.

Thanks, I'll keeping hunting and if I ever discover it, I'll post it back here.

Thanks everyone. Shazzy

In reply to an earlier post on 5 May 2010, 12:45:26 BST
Shazzy well you've really got me, haven't a clue now. Perhaps one day it wil just come back to you in a flash. Sometimes that happens to me when I'm not even thinking about it. Perhaps by remembering another character, you never know?

Joyce, I think they did remake A woman's face, with perhaps a different ending, or if not remake, something like it. A Woman's Face is a very good film, but it is a bit predictable, and it was made in 1941. Your film sounds more like a Horror, perhaps mid 80's. Surely there must be a website where you can put in your vague synopsis and it comes back with an answer. If there isn't, someone should start one!

Both of you good luck, I know how it bugs me, being slightly obsessive but not compulsive.

Posted on 10 May 2010, 12:01:57 BST
How about "The Scar" - Hollywood title ? Paul Henried and Joan Bennett

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2010, 01:02:35 BST
Many Thanks for your suggestion - but, unfortunately it is the woman who has the scar on her face.
Keep thinking
Cheers from Oz

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2010, 03:39:55 BST
Jeez, Joyce, your question is difficult?

Posted on 11 May 2010, 03:41:44 BST
S. Hopwood: Here's a guess for you - THE DAY THEY ROBBED THE BANK OF ENGLAND (1960, Aldo Ray, Peter O' Toole). Not sure since I haven't seen it in ages - but a first rate heist film that sounds similar to your description.

Posted on 11 May 2010, 10:39:15 BST
Davetids says:
From the replies, it seems you haven't tried searching imdb? If you know that a certain actor was in it, then it will definitely be listed on imdb.
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