The Great Bank Hoax - Worth Watching
JWM NYC | New York, New York United States | 07/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Can you picture a comedic version of today's banking bungles set in a small town? Welcome to The Great Bank Hoax! The Great Bank Hoax is a witty comedy about a couple of local bank managers (Burgess Meredith, Richard Basehart) who, in preparing for an audit by the bank examiner, discover their bank has been the victim of embezzlement by a teller (Paul Sand) who did it just to prove it could be done. Less concerned about the theft and more about looking foolish, the bank managers concoct a cover-up whereby they rob their own bank and seek to get rich themselves. Given the story takes place in the stereotypical small, gossipy "All American" town, everybody soon gets involved and wants a piece of the action. And in the end who gets rich? I won't spoil it for you but you'll want to see.
Directed by Joe Jacoby, The Great Bank Hoax takes you back to an America seemingly long gone. But is it? The neatest aspect of the movie is a Burgess Meredith you've never seen before. We all know and love Burgess but most have never seen him in a role like this. There's not a shade of the Penguin or Mick (Rocky Balboa's manager) - just a mellow, fun-loving, conniving bank manager.
Watch and enjoy the movie. You'll recognize almost all of the actors - even if not by name. I think you'll find its well worth your time.
"Why do they call you' Great'/'
Richard Muller | Bradenton, Florida USA | 12/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are a few films out there that not many people have seen... or, at least, haven't seen for ages due to their only recent availability on DVD. Both titles on this dual movie disc -- "Bank Robbery Collection" -- are in that category.
"The Great Bank Hoax" is one of the kinder, gentler stories of theft -- and certainly one which an earlier generation will appreciate for the wonderful performances of screen icons such as Burgess Meredith, Richard Baseheart, Ned Beatty, Michael Murphy, Paul Sand and... Arthur Godfrey? Seems an error in bookkeeping was the design of an ambitious clerk, though that is not known at the time. Adjustments have to be made to cover the shortfall, and that takes care of the plot. And what a cover-up it is! Simply put, you'll love the adventures of these kindly crooks as they scurry to "fix things".
An old favorite of mine is "The Great Bank Robbery"; with the unforgettable Zero Mostel as a less than angelic preacher, leading his flock of crooks to the impregnable bank at 'Friendly' -- the bank of the west's ner-do-well's! Clint Walker is the undercover lawman set to unlock the secrets of the bank, posing as a laundryman, who, by the way, falls for the preacher's stunning 'mistress', played by a vivacious Kim Novak ("I weigh 120 pounds..." "..one-hundred twenty-five!"). Meanwhile the notorious band of banditos (led by Akim Tamiroff and Larry Storch "Listen to Papa!!") tries again and again to do things the hard way. However, it is the escape that ties the whole plot together -- with a balloon chase Captained by the Great Gregory ("Why do they call you 'Great"?"). Oh yes; there's music as well: Academy Nominated song "Rainbow Riders", sung by Zero and flock.
Both films look great on the latest 16 X 9 aspect ratio screens and show good color after all these years, along with good sound. "Hoax" was done in 1978 and "Robbery" was circa 1969 -- but renewed copyright by the studio has kept the technical criteria up to date. You can't go to ONE movie these days at the price of this double feature. Don't miss it. Laughs are hard to come by in these days of Big Kabooms and Bigger Kabooms!"