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JACQUELINE ELLIS AND ANTHONY BOOTH IN 'THE HI-JACKERS'

Anthony Booth and Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERSYear: 1963 Rating: ****

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...

Opening 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" only more upfront-innocent, 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... 

Glynn Edwards and David Gregory in THE HI-JACKERS

Led by non-violent sophisticated heavy Derek Francis with two faithful underlings (a violent-inclined Glynn Edwards and youthful upstart David Gregory, both 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 albeit more serene than edgy...

And, overall, 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
Jacqueline Ellis and Anthony Booth in THE HI-JACKERS
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS with Derek Francis and Glynn Edwards
Glynn Edwards and David Gregory in THE HI-JACKERS
Jacqueline Ellis in THE HI-JACKERS

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