By Roger Donaldson, 2008, film-script by Clement/ La Frenais.
This film deals with the Baker Street bank robbery of 1971.
A shadowy Whitehall outfit gets villains interested in organising a bank heist in order to rescue compromising photographs of a member of the royal family. The photographs are kept in a deposit box owned by Michael X, a notorious gangster who used to hang around Notting Hill Gate and other places in London. Michael X was arrested and in court but he could not be sent down because he had these spicy photos. He was let off on a technicality as they say in the law trade. In fact Michael X is blackmailing the establishment. One woman who has been arrested on some drug charges is offered a ‘way out’, her job is to recruit villains who will organise the bank raid. So the robbers tunnel their way underneath the bank in Baker Street. This technique was first used by Albert Spaggiari in France who was known as the human mole.
Once the robbers get in the vaults , that is where things get sticky for them. Because a super villain who runs brothels in Soho wants his ledgers back, in which he keeps accounts of all the money he has dished out to bent coppers in the MET. So he tries to recapture the villains with the help of some bent coppers.
They manage to track down a few, they torture them with blow torch in true Gestapo style. They manage to get more names out of them. Most bank robbers get murdered by the bent coppers and the super villain’s nasty crew. . One bank robber played by Jason Statham is quick to realise that if he does not do something he too will be for the chop. So he manages to get one of the security guys (shadowy services) TO FURNISH HIM WITH CLEAN PASSPORTS, IN RETURN HE WILL GIVE THEM THE PHOTOGRAPHS.. In the end Vogel the porn baron gets nabbed by clean cops, and the bent coppers also get nabbed. Vogel is superbly played by David Suchet. Three bank robbers manage to get free, they have done their part of the bargain, i.e. retrieve the photographs, the young woman who set up the entire show with the shadowy guy from the organisation that does not “really exists” -BUT IT DOES-, ALSO GET AWAY FREE. In the film Lord Mountbatten also appears at the end, when the photographs are handed over. His comments when he sees the photos are quite to the point.
As for Michael X , he goes to Trinidad , there he continues his nasty trades, ie. rackettering, drugs and in the end murder, he kills Gail Benson, who is some kind of spy for the British secret services. For the murder of Benson, X is hanged. His file is closed in the UK until 2054.
Mick Jagger makes a small appearance in the film, but he is not credited. All in all THE BANK JOB is a watchable film. It was shown on C5 recently.
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