Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Kay Callard and Lee Patterson
THE FLYING SCOT (aka The Mailbag Robbery/1957). Director: Compton Bennett.

Ronnie (Lee Patterson), Jackie (Kay Callard of The Unholy Four), and Phil (Alan Gifford) plan to rob a train called the Flying Scotsman which runs from Glasgow to London. The booty is many bags of bank notes that are destined to be burned. In a prologue that reminds one of the later film Gambit, the robbery goes off silently and without a hitch, the trio celebrating in South America. But that's just the run through and the way Ronnie hopes the robbery will go -- the real robbery is somewhat more difficult. Ronnie and Jackie pretend to be a couple on their honeymoon. Things are complicated by the fact that Phil has a perforated ulcer, postponing a trip to hospital to participate in the caper, and is in terrible pain. The wall between the room on the train and the compartment with the money next door has a barrier they didn't anticipate. There's a drunk who keeps hoping to get some liquor, and a cute little boy who wanders around getting into mischief ... The Flying Scot is a fast-paced, suspenseful crime drama with good performances. Lee Patterson later played a private detective on Surfside 6. Compton Bennett also directed such fine films as Daybreak and The Seventh Veil.

Verdict: Nifty little British "B." ***.

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