CASH ON DEMAND (1961) Reviews of Peter Cushing Hammer crime thriller

  

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‘How to rob a bank… and get away with it?’

Cash on Demand is a 1961 British neo-noir crime thriller about a bank manager who has to pretend to cooperate with a would-be robber.

Directed by Quentin Lawrence from a screenplay co-written by David T. Chantler and Lewis Greifer, based on the 1960 teleplay The Gold Inside by Jacques Gillies.

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The Woodpecker/Hammer Films production stars Peter Cushing, André Morell, Richard Vernon, Norman Bird, Kevin Stoney, Barry Lowe, Edith Sharpe, Lois Daine and Alan Haywood.

Reviews:

” …this isn’t about the robbery, it’s about how the robbery affects Cushing. To that end, he’s also nicely contrasted with André Morell as the affable thief, particularly as the pair spend much of the film in extended two-handers. Quentin Lawrence’s direction is unflashy but effective, allowing their performances to shine.” 100 Films in a Year

“This film really is something of a masterclass that puts the spotlight on the two men and then provides endless opportunities for them to shine in a number of different ways. The dramatic buildup, for instance, occurs only because they are able to infuse it with a very authentic sense of uncertainty and then at the right time pull off numerous surprises, and all of this is accomplished strictly through deceivingly simple interactions.” Blu-ray.com

“Above all, it is Peter Cushing‘s performance of the austere man, to whom efficiency matters most (though the film is subtle enough to allow him a certain integrity as well), and who will be frightened into a warmer sense of humanity, that lifts the film well above the perfunctory levels of much ‘B’ film-making.” Steve Chibnall and Brian McFarlane, The British ‘B’ Film, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

“André Morell as Gore-Hepburn and Richard Vernon as Pearson give solid support but it’s Cushing who dominates the film. It’s unfortunate that the cleverness of the script doesn’t extend to the ending. Apart from being dramatically not very satisfactory it also isn’t consistent with the mood of the rest of the film.” Cult Movie Reviews

“This was one of Cushing’s rare non-horror roles. The film is a gem that has gone under the radar and deserves some love and a wider audience.” Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“It’s a delight to see Cushing and Morell at work in Cash on Demand. Their reactions to each other — particularly as adversaries — is ideal, and the almost Dickens-like tale is executed in a manner that only a studio like Hammer could bring us. Recommended.” DVD Drive-In

“It’s especially pleasant to see Peter Cushing given so much screen time to develop his character […] After Morell’s robber beats him about the face, Cushing must take a few seconds to wipe the tears from his eyes. It’s a marvelous little moment of acting. Cash on Demand is a real gem and a very welcome surprise.” DVD Savant

” …the suspenseful, cynical, amusing Cash on Demand continues to impress the viewer with its small-scaled but impressively-executed charms. And then…someone tries to actually turn it into A Christmas Carol. Too bad. Still… for everything that proceeds that trite, unsound denouement–including Cushing’s and particularly Morell’s socko performances–I’m highly recommending Cash on Demand.” DVD Talk

“Based on a play by Jacques Gillies, Cash on Demand remains as fresh and enjoyable today as it was when first released 50 years ago. David T. Chantler and Lewis Greifer do a good job with the script […] and Quentin Lawrence directs competently enough but it’s the acting that makes this such a compelling slice of fine entertainment.” For It Is Man’s Number

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” …it was nice that in this effort he had a role allowing his expertise to be demonstrated to a different audience. If only Fordyce had genuinely outsmarted Hepburn then it might have been a minor classic, as it was we had to be satisfied the experience had made the manager a better person, though the two stars’ accomplished sparring was good stuff.” The Spinning Image

“The resolution that Cash on Demand does come to I daresay will satisfy connoisseurs of crime and suspense as well as those in search of the restorative holiday balm that Dickens’s tale has delivered for generations, yet without the need to insist upon itself within the trappings of a traditional holiday classic.” Trailers from Hell

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Release:

In the UK, Cash on Demand was released on Blu-ray by Indicator/Powerhouse Films on 15th February 2021. Special features:

High Definition remaster
Original mono audio
Two presentations of the film: the original UK theatrical cut (67 mins); and the extended US version (81 mins)
Audio commentary with film historians Jonathan Rigby and David Miller
The Perfect Crime: Inside ‘Cash On Demand’ (2018, 19 mins): an analysis of the film and its production by Hammer expert Jonathan Rigby, BFI curator Josephine Botting and cultural historian John J Johnston
Hammer’s Women: Lois Daine (2018, 10 mins): critic and author Becky Booth on the popular English actress
Lois Daine on ‘Cash on Demand’ (2018, 8 mins): new and exclusive interview
Original theatrical trailer
Image galleries: press and promotional material
New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing

Cast and characters:

Peter Cushing … Harry Fordyce
André Morell … Colonel Gore Hepburn
Richard Vernon … Pearson
Norman Bird … Arthur Sanderson
Kevin Stoney … Detective Inspector Bill Mason
Barry Lowe … Peter Harvill
Edith Sharpe … Miss Pringle
Lois Daine … Sally
Alan Haywood … Kane
Jimmy Cains … Santa Claus
Vera Cook … Mary Fordyce (voice)
Charles Morgan … Detective Sergeant Collins
Paddy Smith … Bank Customer
Fred Stone … Window Cleaner
Gareth Tandy … Tommy Fordyce (voice)
Graham Tonbridge … Bank Customer

Filming locations:
Bray Studios

Technical details:
1 hour 20 minutes (USA)
1 hour 7 minutes (UK)

Budget:
£37,000

Trailer:

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