I’m afraid I just can’t resist star power. This week’s movie features Steve McQueen in an early role.
Inexplicably, the movie is titled The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery in all of its advertising, even though the movie’s credits insist that the title is simply The St. Louis Bank Robbery. My guess is that the movie couldn’t conjure up enough attention or business with its original title, so they added the word Great to make it sound more prestigious. (In any case, once you view the movie, you’ll see that the word “great” is quite the misnomer in this instance.)
McQueen plays George, a college drop-out. (The movie makes this character trait explicit by having George walk around in his former letterman’s jacket throughout the movie’s first half.) George is coerced by his ex-girlfriend’s brother Gino into being the getaway driver for a bank heist that is being planned by the head of Gino’s gang. Along the way, there’s bad dialogue and acting, a smattering of homoeroticism, and an obnoxious pseudo-pop background song that would have been better used on “Sesame Street.”
The movie was based on an actual 1953 St. Louis bank robbery. The film’s makers made much of the fact that many of the police officers and local citizens who were involved in the robbery reenacted their parts in the movie. (This explains some of the amateurish acting in the movie’s climax but not the rest of the film.)
(Useless trivia: According to the Internet Movie Database, this movie has recently been remade with an updated story and re-titled American Heist, starring Adrien Brody and Star Wars’ Hayden Christiansen. It was to have been released this past July but has yet to see the light of an American movie screen.)
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