Tuesday, February 12, 2013


ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950) is a nifty little film noir that I watched a few nights back. I recorded it off of TMC. The title says it all as the film details the planning, execution and aftermath of the robbery of an armored car. William Talman (who would go on to play District Attorney Hamilton Burger on the long running PERRY MASON television series) is the mastermind of the heist. He has it all perfectly planned but of course, something goes wrong. The gang of four gets the money but they pay a heavy price: one of the crooks is wounded and a Los Angeles police officer is left dead at the scene following a shootout. Talman and his gang are desperately on the run, doggedly pursued by genre icon Charles McGraw as a never-give-up L.A.P.D. detective. The trench-coated McGraw, with his square jaw and chin and chiseled features, is a dead ringer for the comic strip detective Dick Tracy. He would have been great in that part.
Talman hopes to shake McGraw and escape the country with his girlfriend, a strip tease artist played by Adele Jurgens. Two of the crooks are killed, one is captured and another police officer is wounded before the exciting climax at an airfield. ARMORED CAR ROBBERY is a tightly constructed, swiftly paced crime film that doesn't waste a minute of its' screen time. Director Richard Fleischer shot much of the film on location in and around Los Angeles which adds greatly to the film's atmosphere and sense of place. Fleischer and McGraw would later work together on another classic film noir, THE NARROW MARGIN. Fleischer went on to direct such big budget films as 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, TORA! TORA! TORA!, THE BOSTON STRANGLER and SOYLENT GREEN. ARMORED CAR ROBBERY is highly recommended.

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