Noir Obscurities

film 1 of 5

Armored Car Robbery

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 8, 2015

Not all program pictures are diamonds in the rough, are they? A fine director (Richard Fleisher) and some interesting actors notwithstanding, Armored Car Robbery never engages the attention. At least it never engaged mine.

We’ve got caper on one side, investigation on the other. The robbery is actually quite good, both in design and execution. If B-pictures didn’t always rise to the heights of artistry, they were almost always strongly rooted in solid craft. We’ve got some character or relational wrinkles to spice things up. On the side of the perpetrators we’ve got some socio-pathology. Copper-wise, the senior companion mourns his dead partner, and gives the new guy grief as a result. The two strands come together, of course, and equilibrium is restored at the end. The villain’s demise is impressively violent!

Do you ever get this feeling? Sometimes in heist pictures you want the bad guys to actually get away with it! That’s the power of protagonism for you, and the reaction you can have to unremitting Unities.

Sometimes you get that feeling. Not this time, for me at least. Everyone just made me impatient! The great Charles McGraw seems only to have been given dudgeon to work with. We can’t all be James Cagney, 1950, but this sociopath feels generic, a bit going-through-the-motions. The moll is not only distasteful, but draggingly, unattractively so. Poor woman—it’s tough to win with a part like this.

Didn’t care for it. You might, though…