February 20, 2017


Loophole – 1980 | 105 mins | Crime, Thriller | Colour


Plot Synopsis


Old-fashioned and pedestrian bank heist thriller. Drably directed by John Quested, who had chiefly spent his career behind the camera as assistant director, the hackneyed script by Jonathan Hales delivers neither surprises nor originality. The strong but bland cast, led by Albert Finney, is bolstered by the obligatory token presence of imported American actor Martin Sheen.

Ageing safecracker Mike Daniels (Albert Finney) plans an audacious robbery against the highly secure International Securities Bank in London. The heist requires recruiting additional men, and also a ‘straight man; an architect with a knowledge of building construction that can plot a route to the bank vaults. Daniels discovers the perfect candidate in the shape of American architect Stephen Booker (Martin Sheen); a man with a £50,000 overdraft and with bank manager Godfrey (Robert Morley) breathing down his neck for an injection of funds.

Booker is employed under the pretence that he will be carrying out extension work on a building adjoining the bank, and when he subsequently discovers the truth he walks out on Daniels – refusing to have any involvement in criminal activity. Daniels persists in trying to persuade Booker to relent; and with the pledge of no firearms and the architect’s nagging wife ( Susannah York) appealing for money to finance her own business – Booker consents to join.

Booker plots an approach through the London sewers. When they eventually break into the vault, the pressure drop causes the alarms to be triggered, but with no visible signs of entry it’s dismissed as a false alarm. However, the weather outside takes a turn for the worse and the gang’s escape is hindered by a torrential downpour. Whilst the rest of the gang fight the way through the sewers – Booker decides to sit tight in the vault and wait for the downpour to ease.

Production Team

John Quested: Director
Michael Reed: Cinematography
Bridget Sellers: Costume Design
Ralph Sheldon: Film Editing
Freddie Williamson: Makeup Department
Betty Glasow: Makeup Department
Lalo Schifrin: Original Music
David Korda: Producer
Julian Holloway: Producer
Maurice Cain: Production Design
Syd Cain: Production Design
Jonathan Hales: Script
Bob Allen: Sound Department
Dino Di Campo: Sound Department
Alec Jeakins: Sound Department


Albert Finney: Mike Daniels
Martin Sheen: Stephen Booker
Susannah York: Dinah Booker
Colin Blakely: Gardner
Jonathan Pryce: Taylor
Robert Morley: Godfrey
Alfred Lynch: Harry
Tony Doyle: Nolan
Christopher Guard: Cliff
Gwyneth Powell: Doreen
Jerry Harte: Maxwell
James Grout: Fairbrother
Terrence Hardiman: David
Bridget Brice: Emily
Ian Howarth: Matthew

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