Written by / 7/04/2023 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WILLIAM LUCAS IN THE BRITISH ARMORED CAR ROBBERY 'PAYROLL'

Original Title: PAYROLL/I PROMISED TO PAY Director: Cliff Owen Year: 1961 Rates: ****

Early example of girl power encroaching a manly action flick, or more like widow power in that Billie Whitelaw only initially seems the docile suburban wife/mother, married to the literally driven creator of an armored vehicle... 

Whose invention thwarts a gang's plan to rob a factory safe, now mobile... but the equally driven and dangerous Michael Craig (contrasting to the heroic MYSTERIOUS ISLAND role) is hell-bent on the blag going down... 

Michael Craig in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY with Françoise Prévost

And like the likely inspiration of Richard Fleischer's American Film Noir ARMORED CAR ROBBERY, there are four eclectic crooks, and one of their wives is having an affair with the viciously heartless leader... 

Making for a racy romance between Craig and Françoise Prévost, married to inside man William Lucas, who, having stolen the vehicle's plans for the job to happen in the first place, is locked-down at home while progressively coming unglued and rightfully paranoid, one of the plan's two guilt-ridden weaklings along with nebbish bandit Kenneth Griffith: unlike the frantic/paranoid Lucas... the audience's barometer of fear/suspense... Griffith doesn't entirely belong...

Tom Bell in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY

Leaving the best for last in wild card Tom Bell, starting a career of edgy, argumentative young thugs and, like in another British heist thriller, A PRIZE OF ARMS, he even blindly rebels against the smarter, much stronger criminal boss...

Their tension setting the unpredictable mood far more capably than widow Whitelaw, whose vengeful trail is intriguing yet sometimes contrived, laughably convenient... Morphing the sparse Noir-suited title of PAYROLL into I PROMISED TO PAY, sounding more Harlequin than Hardboiled.

Billie Whitelaw in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
William Lucas in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Tom Bell in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Michael Craig, Barry Keegan, Kenneth Griffith and Tom Bell in PAYROLL
Michael Craig, Barry Keegan, Kenneth Griffith and Tom Bell in PAYROLL
Michael Craig and Billie Whitelaw in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Billie Whitelaw in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Tom Bell in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Tom Bell fourteen long years later in ROYAL FLASH
Tom Bell in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
The real title PAY ROLL with a Volkswagen Van from 1960
Françoise Prévost in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Françoise Prévost in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Cutie starlet PAULINE SHEPERD in PAYROLL
William Lucas foreshadows the Kray biopic Tom Hardy here in PAYROLL
Pauline Sheperd interrupts a paper-stealing/copying William Lucas in PAYROLL
Poster for PAYROLL with Billie Whitelaw
Title Card for the film's actual title PAYROLL
Michael Craig, Tom Bell and Kenneth Griffith in PAYROLL
Michael Craig in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
Michael Craig & William Lucas in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
Michael Craig & William Lucas in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
William Lucas and Michael Craig in PAYROLL
William Lucas and Paddi Edwards in PAYROLL
Joan Rice and Billie Whitelaw in PAYROLL
Michael Craig in PAYROLL
William Lucas and Françoise Prévost in PAYROLL
Kenneth Griffith and Vanda Godsell in PAYROLL
Michael CRAIG in PAYROLL
William LUCAS in PAYROLL
William LUCAS in PAYROLL
William LUCAS in PAYROLL with Pauline Sheperd
William LUCAS in PAYROLL with Michael Craig
William Lucas and Michael Craig PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
William Lucas in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Tom Bell in PAYROLL aka I PROMISED TO PAY
Michael Craig in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
William Lucas in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
Michael Craig in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY with Tom Bell
Michael Craig, Barry Keegan, Kenneth Griffith and Tom Bell in PAYROLL
Michael Craig, Barry Keegan, Kenneth Griffith and Tom Bell in PAYROLL
Michael Craig in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
Tom Bell in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
Barry Keegan in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY
Michael Craig in PAYROLL AKA I PROMISED TO PAY with Françoise Prévost

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