A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed


1h 27m 1958

Film Details

Also Known As
How to Rob a Nice Little Bank
Release Date
Dec 1958
Premiere Information
New York opening: 10 Dec 1958
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Pomona, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the article "Nice, busy little bank that ought to be robbed" by Evan Wylie in Life (3 Jun 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Max Rutgers, a gullible good Samaritan, has been engaged to the ever patient, hard working Margie Solitaire for five years. Concerned about her daughter's future, Margie's mother, Mrs. Solitaire, criticizes Max's chronic inability to earn a living as an auto mechanic and his freeloading friends, Gus Harris and Harold "Rocky" Baker. Max believes that fame and fortune will be his as soon as Gus passes his horse trainer license exams, thus enabling the pair to buy a horse and race it to victory. The conniving Gus, however, has flunked every exam in the last five years because he forgets the answers when faced with a panel of questioners. Nevertheless, Max patiently tutors Gus at his auto repair shop, where taxi driver cum bookie Rocky takes bets. Rocky and Gus constantly quarrel, each charging that the other is taking advantage of Max. After Gus flunks his exam once again, he proposes that they capitalize on Max's unique ability to gulp down large objects by robbing a bank and then swallowing the holdup note. Fearing that Margie will lose patience with his empty promises of marriage, Max agrees. Dubbed "the paper eating robbers" after they collect $28,000 from the Mercantile Bank, Max and Gus decide to head East to buy a race horse. After Max insists that they pay back the bank with the horse's winnings, the pair buy a horse named "Tattooed Man" at auction and establish the Gus-Max Farms. Once the horse loses his first race, the animal-loving Max commiserates with the steed and offers to share his vitamins with him. Rocky, meanwhile, wonders how his friends could afford to buy a horse and decides to break into Max's auto repair shop, where he finds the empty bank pouch. The vitamins invigorate Tattooed Man, and when Rocky shows up and demands his cut from the robbery, Max and Gus tell him of the horse's remarkable performance, and they decide to bet their entire savings on the race. Tattooed Man easily wins, but later is disqualified on a foul. Broke, Max is forced to sell his car, and Gus and Rocky try to persuade him to rob another bank. Aware that Max is more concerned over the horse's feelings than his own financial insolvency, Gus convinces Max to rob a bank so that the horse can have another chance to be a winner. Together, Gus and Rocky plot a robbery using Margie's nondescript car for the getaway. After kidnapping Grace Havens, the elderly teller, Max orders her to open the vault, only to discover that an employee named Mr. Schroeder has the key and that the vault is on a time lock that will not open until morning. To distract the frail teller, Max takes her on a sight-seeing tour, causing the exasperated Rocky to resign from the robbery. Come morning, Schroeder arrives and Max tells him to open the vault. When the police come to cash their paychecks, Gus, waiting outside in the getaway car, drives off, leaving Max behind. Max fills a basket with money and has Schroeder carry it outside, where he discovers that Gus is gone and decides to hijack Schroeder's car. After driving off, Max drops Schroeder at a street corner, then parks the car and jumps on a bus with the cash. Back at the garage, Rocky comes to claim his cut of the robbery, and when Max offers him only $10,000, he threatens to sue. After a witness identifies the license plate number of the getaway car, the police tail Margie to her house and arrest Max and his gang. Some time later, Gus, Max and Rocky, now in prison, listen to a sports broadcast over the radio as Tattooed Man, who had been acquired by the bank in a "forced" sale, wins $50,000 in a race.

Film Details

Also Known As
How to Rob a Nice Little Bank
Release Date
Dec 1958
Premiere Information
New York opening: 10 Dec 1958
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Pomona, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the article "Nice, busy little bank that ought to be robbed" by Evan Wylie in Life (3 Jun 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was How to Rob a Nice Little Bank. The picture's title card is written: "a nice little BANK that should be robbed." In the opening credits, Tom Ewell and Mickey Rooney are standing at the edges of the frame as their names appear onscreen. According to a July 1957 Los Angeles Times news item, Twentieth Century-Fox originally intended the film as a vehicle for Danny Kaye. A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed marked Dina Merrill's first leading role. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the racetrack sequences were filmed at the fairground in Pomona, CA. A 1957 Daily Variety news item adds that Evan Wylie's Life magazine story was based on an actual bank robbery in New York.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 1958

CinemaScope

Released in United States Winter December 1958