The Big Caper (1957) Let’s Meet The Bank Heist Gang.

A cool million dollars with a whole stack of change was sat waiting within the bank vault. The California Bank, in the small town of San Felipe, would hold the hefty payload over the weekend, ready for the payroll for every single Monday. It was too much to think even about. Sat there smiling, ready for the taking. Too tempting not to. What was needed for The Big Caper was an expert gang with a perfect plan. Lets meet them…

Flood (James Gregory)
The mastermind, the boss. Flood was happy sat in the sun supping cocktails by the pool. With his girl, Kay, swimming and relaxing for his eye candy. Flood had invested well after the last hit. He knew how to play the game. One big payload and then duck and cover. Enjoy the riches as the heat cools off. Flood hadn’t got to the top for being a chump. Taking too many risks was a young man’s game. No jail time for him.

Frank Harper (Rory Calhoun)
A season criminal who had enjoyed the winnings of the last good heist but like always, he could never hold on to the loot. It would be gambled away and he’d be broke again before he knew it. Frank needed a new job to get that cool green cash money rolling back in. He just so happened to have a sure thing lined-up. This California Bank heist would pay big. Money enough for everyone. Somehow he needed to convince his good friend, his boss, Flood. Sweet talking first and when that didn’t work then he knew a day trip to sniff out the easy money might just get his boss interested. Once he knew the job would be a piece of cake, he’d be in for sure.

Kay (Mary Costa)
Kay was Flood’s moll, his girl. She was used to the life of crime but was having doubts whether she could hack the way of life anymore. Flood had been good to her, though, unfortunately, she knew she didn’t love him like he did her. She was happy to get a chance to help with the plan. To fake newlyweds with Frank and infiltrate the town. Mr and Mrs playing the happy perfect couple. She dreamt that with her cut of the money she could make a new start. Maybe move to be near her sister, settle down?

Dutch Paulmeyer (Florenz Ames)
The elderly professional safe-cracker. Flood knew there was only one man for the job, no one else would do. Dutch was the best. Knowing he wouldn’t have many years left in him to take a big cut of the takings, Dutch asks for a straight upfront payment. Fifteen thousand would see him right. Get him to the safe and he’d disappear. With a man like Dutch you could tell it wasn’t all about the money. The temptation and chance of a new unbreakable safe to get his gloves on was the main reason to take the job.

Harry (Paul Picerni)
Harry was a driver and a lookout man. He’d also been tasked with an important job, to take down the power station. Quickly in, capture the guard and flick the switch off the power generators. Drop the town into darkness. It was one of a few perfectly worked out distractions to throw at the unexpecting folks of San Felipe. He was a steadfast and reliable hoodlum with just one set back, he had to bring his girl with him.

Doll (Roxanne Arlen)
Doll was Harry’s girl. She was sexy, brash and forward. Of course Harry was smitten and had run his mouth off about the heist. Doll wasn’t that bothered, she liked the danger. She was more interested in having a good time with a touch of flirting.

Roy (Corey Allen)
Roy was an oddball. A strange character, maybe autistic but more than likely a sociopath mixed with equal amounts of psycho. Not at all good with social situations. He worked out, played his records and freaked out who every crossed his path. He’d calm himself with drinking glasses of cold milk. Flood had him onboard as he’d do whatever was necessary. Flood controlled him with intimation and beatings. Like a violent overbearing father to his son.

Zimmer (Robert H Harris)
The forever sweating Zimmer takes Roy’s oddball to the next level. This wide eyed alcoholic has an unforgiving thirst for bottles of gin. Zimmer was an explosive expert paid to cause panic and chaos. He was to blow up two buildings at either sides of town. To serve as a distraction as the police and fire crews race from one scene to another. Giving our bank heist gang all the privacy and time they needed to get the job done. When he wasn’t frantically searching for booze, he would amuse himself looking lovingly, transfixed, as he burnt matches down to his finger tips. Add pyromaniac to his list.

The job had to be perfect, time was not an issue, they would play the long game. Frank and Kay move to town, buying a petrol station for their newlywed business venture together. Moving into the big empty house and make friends with all the neighbors. They become the perfect couple, even the local cop want’s Frank to go fishing with him. It’s all big smiles, plastic smiles! These criminals aren’t used to being squares. As the months pass on by the arguments behind closed doors become more intense. They need to get the job done, plus, the last thing on their minds would to become the perfect couple for real! Not for Frank and his best mate Flood’s girl! Soon the house is filled with all the players. All the gang together under one roof. The Big Caper was about to begin! What could possibly go wrong?…

The Big Caper is a fun film. A real good 50s B-Movie with plenty of build up, action and side turns, especially with it’s uniquely unpredictable bunch of crazy characters. It’s on Amazon Prime if you hadn’t seen it before like myself.

7 thoughts on “The Big Caper (1957) Let’s Meet The Bank Heist Gang.

    • Haha I love the General Ursus reference Mike. I do know him well from Planet Of The Apes but didn’t know James Gregory was going ape 🙂 . I don’t know Rory’s films but I see he’s a big western guy so he has to have been on your radar, big time styleee.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love your voice here, Mikey. I can hear it in my head. It’s very Dragnet, but cooler…(way cooler.) My favorite character profile is of Roy. His bleach job alone makes him interesting, but his drink of choice to calm down the old hibbie jibbies…milk. Fantastic. His drink matches the color of his hair. Of course Doll’s hair is the same color…I would be SHOCKED if she too drank milk. That would be amazing…it’s much too much. But that doesn’t stop me from wishing.
    Great post.
    –Pam

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha I like that you can hear the Dragnet style. I was trying to go for that 50s kind of talk over trailer style. It was a fun one to do and didn’t take too long, which was nice as I got right in the moment. I just needed one of those big metal microphones to talk into.
      Oh nice observation with Roy and his milk coloured hair. LOL. Yeah there was no way Doll was drinking milk, well maybe Brandy Alexander or White Russians whilst shaking her hips and being a bit of a pain in the ass.
      Thank you Pam
      Mikey

      Liked by 2 people

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