HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Payroll The Criminal Class
Year: 1961
Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Michael Craig, Françoise Prévost, Billie Whitelaw, William Lucas, Kenneth Griffith, Tom Bell, Barry Keegan, Edward Cast, Andrew Faulds, William Dexter, Glyn Houston, Joan Rice, Vanda Godsell, Stanley Meadows, Brian McDermott, Hugh Morton, Keith Faulkner
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The new armoured car which carries this Newcastle company's payroll is among the most advanced of its type, practically impregnable and with a blaring alarm should a break-in be attempted, plus a security guard in the back with the cash to keep an eye on who might be following, police radio in his hand to contact the law the second anything seems suspicious. You'd have to be crazy to attempt to steal from it - or very determined. The gang led by Johnny Mellors (Michael Craig) is just that, and they have a man on the inside, Pearson (William Lucas) who tells them about this new van, which may be a setback but is not a deterrent...

British crime cinema is littered with heists gone wrong, mainly because for a long time the moral that crime does not pay was practically required by law in the cinema of the country. That irony, that the criminals won't get away with it, continues to be felt to this day, and not only in the United Kingdom, because there was a pleasing quality to seeing the bad guys foiled, even if they were anti-heroes. However, you could not say that of the evildoers in Payroll, one of many accomplished thrillers directed by something of an unsung master of the art, in Britain at least, Sidney Hayers, before he left for Hollywood and umpteen series television episodes.

Indeed, you could watch a selection of vintage Britflicks, not only thrillers, helmed by Hayers and not know he was the man behind the camera, but remain easy in your mind that you had been sufficiently entertained. In this case, he conjured a gritty, down and dirty atmosphere which looked ahead to the coarsening of the genre's style in the coming decades where the downbeat mood and dark humour (at best) became hallmarks of the kind of thriller designed for grown-ups. We can tell things will go horribly wrong in the first ten minutes since Johnny's masterminded plans have not reckoned with the brand new security van, which is an obvious spanner in the works.

Nevertheless, he has the power to think on his feet, and has soon worked out a way to break into the van by stranding it on a street picked out as ideal for his purposes, and all credit to Hayers the heist sequence itself is superbly crafted, packed with action and tension, not simply an oasis of accomplished excitement in a grim yarn, but one whose repercussions are felt throughout the rest of the movie. One thing you notice is that without championing the wrong 'uns, Payroll is far more biased in favour of strong women than it is the weaker men it depicts, although there are far more male characters than female. But two of the ladies, Pearson's French (for some reason) wife and the widow of one of the gang's victims, are very strident.

Mrs Pearson, Katie (not a very French name), was played by Françoise Prévost, imported from the Continent, and she is increasingly disgusted by her snivelling husband while seeing an opportunity to seduce Johnny. Meanwhile the widow is Jackie Parker who has two young kids to look after and is now seeking revenge - not justice as is pointed out by the detective investigating - making her something of a precursor to Charles Bronson's latter career in female form. Given the actress in that role was the nanny of Satan herself, Billie Whitelaw, you knew Johnny and his in-fighting cohorts don't really stand a chance, as she was an expert in playing formidable women, meaning even Jackie's rivalry with Katie is sure to result in the duplicitous wife coming a cropper since anyone who allows greed to lead them to terrible acts will not have a happy ending. With stark, black and white photography of Newcastle (though nary a local accent to be heard, a valid criticism this often receives) and Reg Owen's purposeful, jazzy score, Payroll was a cult crime gem.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2352 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: