Movie Review: Piccadilly Third Stop (1960)
Piccadilly Third Stop (1960)
Director: Wolf Rilla
Cast: Terence Morgan, Yôko Tani, John Crawford
Synopsis: A playboy assembles a team to rob a foreign embassy’s safe.
“She’s not a bad little scrubber, is she?” says Dominic (Terence Morgan – Turn the Key Softly – a sort of low-rent Richard Burton) of his sidekick’s girlfriend early on in this odd little heist movie from Wolf Rilla. He pretty much sums up Piccadilly Third Stop’s’s attitude towards women in general – they’re either a means to an end to be exploited (the little Burmese girl who lets slip that her ambassador daddy has £100,000 stashed in the Embassy safe, and Christine (Mai Zetterling – Seven Waves Away), a treacherous wife who sides with Dominic when he goes into a partnership of convenience with her American husband (John Crawford – Mystery Street, Man in the Saddle) to carry out the heist), or semi-vapid nobodies (the aforementioned girlfriend, tellingly named Mouse).
Piccadilly Third Stop – Lord only knows what that title is all about: most of the heist action centres around Belgravia tube station – has all the usual heist ingredients: double-crossing partners, a Mr. Big (Dennis Jones – Kind Hearts and Coronets – obviously finding roles harder to come by as he grew older), a safe-cracker (William Hartnell – Brighton Rock – giving the film’s best performance), but they’re all so consistently unpleasant that you never for one minute want them to get away with the loot. While you don’t expect a moral anchor in these kinds of movies, you do at least expect one of the characters to be likable enough to root for. The score might be of interest to jazz aficionados (or not – I’m no expert), but it’s sometimes intrusively over the top.
(Reviewed 10th November 2011)