Written by / 8/16/2020 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

JIM O'CONNOLLY DIRECTS JACQUELINE ELLIS IN 'THE HI-JACKERS'

Opening title sequence for THE HI-JACKERS circa 1963
Writer/director Jim O'Connolly should be well known for two films where the cult status went to someone else: In BERSERK, Joan Crawford gets credit while stop-motion guru Ray Harryhausen and his dinosaurs ruled THE VALLEY OF GWANGI. But O'Connolly's by himself in creating two neat, tight and entertaining B&W post-noir crime flicks derived from the British b-picture company, Butcher's, in the early/mid 1960's...

The first being THE HI-JACKERS starring Anthony Booth as an independent truck/lorry driver: victim of the titular gang faking accident scenes on the rural roadside and then stealing the cargo: in his case, cases of Johnnie Walker Red...
Anthony Booth and Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS
The essential eye candy is cute-as-a-button ingenue Jacqueline Ellis as a rogue young lady, the likes the truckers deem "Mystery," who Booth picks up at a diner before he's robbed. Their chemistry has the kind of relaxing, lived-in coziness where you want them to hook up, and yet they're almost too perfectly suited to, too soon...

On the other side are THE HI-JACKERS themselves, who you might initially think are actually highly professional policemen, or even classy college professors on a field trip roadside picnic... 
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS with Derek Francis and Glynn Edwards Rates: ****1/2
Led by non-violent sophisticated heavy Derek Francis with two faithful underlings (Glynn Edwards and David Gregory from O'Connolly's followup, SMOKESCREEN), they're an eclectic lot, calling the boss "Gov" and, eventually holed up at a rural estate, seem to have all the time in the world... that is, until the ingenue riskily moves in, providing a burst of 11th hour suspense, though more serene than edgy...

This fine little curio is an involving jazz-scored crime flick that, no matter what side's being centered on, moves along with well-timed action sequences blanketed by more intelligent than pulpy bouts of page-turning dialogue.
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS
Tony Booth with Peter Sellers' Lolita dame Marianne Stone in The Hi-Jackers
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS with Anthony Booth
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS with Anthony Booth
Derek Francis, David Gregory, Glynn Edwards in THE HI-JACKERS
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS with Tony Booth
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS
THE HI-JACKERS is on Amazon Prime
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