CALCULATED RISK. Bry/McLeod, UK, 1963. William Lucas, John Rutland, Dilys Watling, Warren Mitchell, Shay Gorman, Terence Cooper, David Brierly. Screenplay: Edwin Richfield. Director: Norman Harrison.

   As you may have noticed already, except for Dilys Watling, who plays the young factory worker who undresses at night in a second story apartment overlooking the bombed-out lot where a gang of safecrackers are digging their way under ground into the bank building next door, everyone else in this movie is male.

   Even so, Miss Watling’s part is almost a cameo role, almost but not quite, and as caper movies go, even though very few people will have seen it, this one’s a good one.


   It begins with a gent named Kip (John Rutland) getting out of prison and being picked up in a car by his brother-in-law Steve (William Lucas). Kip is a crook, but not a very good one. He’s been in and out of jail most of his life. He even missed his wife’s funeral while he was in this last time.

   But now that he’s out, he has a plan and to pull it off, he needs some help. He’s been told about an undisturbed underground WWII air raid shelter that’s only two walls away from a bank vault, and inside the vault is a fortune in cash. Even though Kip is considered something of a Jonah on the job, it isn’t difficult for Steve to come up with a small crew of others to add their talents in.


   All things considered, it’s a good plan, and it’s one that might actually work, but plans and the carrying out of them are hardly ever the very same thing. Small things can be adjusted for – Kip’s heart problems, for one, but I won’t tell you about the big one, but if you read the first paragraph above again, maybe you can figure it out on your own.

   The script is tight, the vivid black-and-white photography perfect for the tale that’s told, and even though none of the actors are known in this country – and maybe not even in England – they all fit their characters well, and what more could you want?

   Perhaps a little longer running time — it’s only 72 minutes long — but with anything longer you run the risk that the tension is going to be as big a fizzle as the… Or does it?