The Saint Louis Bank Robbery
The Saint Louis Bank Robbery Movie Streaming
The Saint Louis Bank Robbery
In St. Louis, Missouri, former college football star George Fowler joins three ex-convicts, John Egan, Willie and Gino, in a plot to rob the town bank. Gino vouches for the novice crook George, but does not reveal to the woman-hating Egan that the younger man once dated his sister Ann. Resentful of George’s inclusion in the scheme, Willie, whose long-time association with Egan began when they met as prison inmates, grows angrier when Egan assigns George his usual role as getaway driver. Egan tells the men that they must case the bank for the next few days in order to learn the bank’s daily routine. Then, wary of George’s commitment to the scheme, Egan takes him to steal a license plate to use for their car. Later, when George and Gino realize they have no money, Gino orders George to contact Ann and ask her for a loan. Although initially unwilling to see Ann again, George agrees and that afternoon meets her at a local bar. After some awkward talk, George explains that Gino is in Chicago and needs a loan. Although disappointed and suspicious of George’s nervous prattle, Ann writes Gino a check. That night in their hotel room, Willie complains to Egan about his role in the heist, but Egan criticizes him for growing fearful and complacent. Willie is further dismayed when Egan considers asking George to accompany them to Mexico after the robbery. Meanwhile, down the hall in their room, George gives Gino Ann’s check and Gino admits he is afraid of being captured and returned to prison. Over the next few mornings, according to Egan’s meticulous plans, the men take turns watching the bank from various locations. Unrecognized by the men, Ann exits the bank one day and is startled to see Gino driving away. Upon spotting George sitting in a café, she angrily confronts him, but he refuses to speak with her except to order her to meet him back at the bar later that afternoon. Unknown to the couple, Willie has witnessed George speaking with Ann. Later, Egan and the men meet at a park to discuss their observations and Egan sets about constructing an elaborate timetable for the robbery. When Willie reveals that he saw George speaking with a woman at a café, George denies the accusation and Egan chastises Willie for not watching the bank. The men then perform a practice drive to the bank, carefully timing stop lights and choosing where best to park the car. In private, Gino asks George if the woman in the café was Ann, and George reassures him that he has revealed nothing to her. That afternoon George meets Ann, but she is not persuaded by his insistence that he is a salesman. George finally admits that he was kicked out of college when his athletic abilities faltered, but that he hopes to return and take up writing. When Ann presses him to explain Gino’s presence, George maintains that he is involved with Gino as a driver for a “job” and nothing more. Ann laments that he will become a common criminal like Gino and implores George not to go through with the plot. Although anxious that Ann may go to the police, George leaves abruptly and, driving back to the hotel with Gino, assures him that his sister will remain silent. That evening at another bar, while Egan and George wait for a delivery of pistols, Egan relates how his distrust of women began with his drunken, unfit mother. Meanwhile, out on a date, Ann grows depressed and, slightly drunk, goes to the bank and writes on a window with lipstick: “Warning, you will be robbed.” Egan and Willie discover the message and angrily confront George and Gino, who reveals the likely culprit is Ann. Egan takes the men to Ann’s apartment, where she swears she has told no one of the scheme. Ann again pleads with George to pull out of the plot, offering to help him find a stable job, but he remains evasive. Egan directs Ann to pack for a trip out of town, then orders George and Gino to go to their rendezvous point at the park. Egan then forces Ann to leave her apartment by the fire escape, but when she demands that he tell George where she is going, the older man bursts into anger and tells her that George has no need of her. Furious at Ann’s continued resistance, Egan slaps her then pushes her over the railing to her death as Willie watches in horror from below. Meeting the others at the park, Egan states he put Ann on a plane to Chicago and Willie reveals he has been reassigned as the driver, infuriating George. The next morning, the men follow Egan’s detailed plans for the robbery. Willie drops off Egan and Gino at the main door while George enters through the back. With bandanas hiding their faces, the men order the customers and bank personnel to lie on the floor and, as George and Egan offer cover, Gino quickly raids the drawers, unaware that a teller has set off a concealed police alarm. The police quickly converge on the bank, burst through the doors and shoot, striking George in the leg. Egan returns fire, while outside in the waiting car, Willie is paralyzed with fear. When more police cars arrive, he drives off in a panic as George watches in dismay. While hiding from the police among the terrified customers, Egan admits he had to give Willie the position he coveted to keep him quiet and George realizes with shock that Egan has murdered Ann. As the police make another assault, Egan takes a woman hostage to get outside, only to be shot down. Gino flees from the police and, finding himself trapped, shoots himself. Terrified and distraught by the mayhem in the bank, George tries to take a woman hostage, but when her husband insists on going in her place, George collapses with shock and surrenders in tears.
Directors: Charles Guggenheim, John Stix Writer: Richard T. Heffron (screenplay)
Steve McQueen, Crahan Denton, David Clarke
Reason of the public domain status: Registered in the year it was made, but not renewed with the Library of Congress.
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The decent degree of realism plus one of Steve McQueen’s earlier starring movie roles help make this crime feature worth watching. The story has some pretty interesting aspects, and it adds to the realism with the well-publicized inclusion of many of the actual police officers who were involved in the original events on which the movie is based. On the other hand, the rest of the cast does not come up to McQueen’s stature as performers, and at times some potentially powerful scenes lack a little something as a result. The setup has McQueen’s character hired as the getaway driver for a gang of bank robbers. Their careful planning is thrown into complications by an old girlfriend of George’s (McQueen), whose brother is also part of the gang. The resulting tensions, plus the various unexpected developments as they carry out their plan, add some interest to the basic story. Many of the scenes are written and filmed rather well, although at times the movie expends some screen time on less interesting material. McQueen does a good job with an unsympathetic character, and the supporting cast is mostly solid. Molly McCarthy is believable and generally sympathetic as Ann, but she does not always give her character a lot of depth. Crahan Denton gives the gang’s boss a good, solid persona at the beginning, but afterward the character remains rather one-dimensional even when there are chances to bring out some interesting characteristics. The straightforward, almost documentary style cinematography works pretty well, and makes a good combination with the downbeat story. Despite a few things that could have been better, this is not bad at all for its genre, and it is certainly worth seeing.
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