Payroll (1961) DVD
(Region one - Playable in the US, Canada, Mexico, etc.) Running time: 105 minutes Black and White Widescreen 1.66:1 Beautiful re-mastered print Close-captions (subtitles in English)
Actors: Michael Craig, Francoise Prevost, Billie Whitelaw, William Lucas, Tom Bell Produced by Norman Priggen and Julian Wintle Screenplay by George Baxt Based on the novel by Derek Bickerton Directed by Sidney Hayers
Four crooks (Johnny Mellors, Monty, Blackie and Bert) plan and execute a robbery on a payroll van, using the inside knowledge of Dennis Pearson, who works as an accountant at the firm concerned. Pearson is under pressure to support his wife Katie (Françoise Prévost), who demands a higher standard of living. However, the van driver, Harry Parker, is killed during the heist, while Bert is fatally wounded by Parker's colleague Frank Moore. Nevertheless, the gang manages to get away with £50,000.
Having found out that Pearson was the 'inside man', Parker's widow Jackie (Billie Whitelaw) starts posting threatening letters to him. Katie in the meantime has become involved with Johnny, hoping to get some of the money for herself. As the gang starts to argue amongst themselves, they are pursued by both Katie and Jackie. The climax takes place in Norfolk, with Johnny and Katie double-crossing each other and Jackie tracking Johnny in her bid for revenge.
Made 10 years before the even grittier GET CARTER, PAYROLL inspired the likes of Michael Mann’s HEAT (1995) and given the prominent use of automobiles for its high-stakes shenanigans, the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise. – BFI (UK)