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  • Low-budget doesn't begin to describe the cheesy production values of this independent heist movie. The piped-in music, limited camera angles, and production glitches remind me of a porno movie. But, the plot is ingenious -- as gripping as I've seen in a crime movie in 30 years. And, although some of the dialogue is ridiculous in the scenes between townspeople in the first third of the film, all of the dialogue, amongst the criminals and among the law officers once the crime is on, is gritty and realistic. A few story twists help the proceedings along to a most satisfactory conclusion.
  • While budgetary constraints may be evident, the plot is what probably attracted a quality actor like Richard Egan. Definitely a must see for Tarantino fans, as it seems he watched it more than a few times. The film itself was ahead of its time in terms of plot, and if it were more available, would be a favorite among heist fans. Despite the budget/filming conditions, Egan gives a great performance, giving the writing a bit more than it deserves. All in all, a good watch.
  • Just re-saw this "B" heist film. The plot was interesting, the acting was decent, and there are a host of washed-up former stars throughout. For fans of such films as Ocean's Eleven (both versions), The Anderson Tapes, The Killing, Assault on the Queenm,Heat, and Dayton's Devils, this is an enjoyable little film. Made on a shoe string budget; the texture of the film is fair, and the camera work makes it look like a high school production, but the over all look and feel of the movie is entertaining.

    There is even a surprise ending which is comical. Richard Egan does a professional job, as does Jan Murray. However, Martha Hyer has aged badly and has lost her sexy looks from her role in the Carpetbaggers.

    So, if you're a fan of caper and heist films, this is the movie for you.
  • aromatic-212 April 2001
    Once you get past the $1.98 production values, this one is a true treat for the mind. The gang's plot and execution are mind-boggling, and Jan Murray plays one of the most vicious criminal masterminds ever. The desert is used to good advantage, and Richard Egan's poor-man's Will Kane is well executed. See it.
  • This is a sleeper of a movie. Long lost for nearly 20 years, I had a hell of a time finding this one. If you can find a copy it's worth watching. Uses waycool catchy guitar theme music throughout. Cool dudes playing the bad guys. Neato uniforms and vehicles (love the station wagon scenes!!!!).

    Makes you wonder why someone hasn't tried to pull this job off yet?

    Number 8
  • I first saw this as a kid- and have longed to see it again/own it/etc. It is a 10+ as far as plot goes, and although the production is as bad as any B-horror movie you'll ever see it almost adds to the mood of the film. Great action w/cool music, costumes, etc. And a twist of an ending rarely matched in modern screen-writing. A must-see for every movie fan.
  • This movie is about a theme you rarely see nowadays. A group of bad guys isolate a town and take it over. This gives rise to many questions about the possibility, but then each question takes valuable time to answer, making it more possible than you might think. The bad guys are robbers in this case, as opposed to a movie that would be made nowadays, in which every writer tries to outdo each other with cold blooded sadists. These characters could be the man shopping next to you at the grocery. That gives this movie an appeal lost in today's market. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet gives a serious enough account to be entertaining. The high hat characters were typical of the time, and actually more realistic than people give credit for, with their "City Hall" mentality. The other characters are well drawn. Good acting helps, too, and so does the atmosphere, in which each scene is well defined. A movie such as this will either sacrifice entertainment value for realism, or vice versa. This is fairly well balanced, but thankfully it leans more to entertainment value. The end twist comes a bit too fast for the modern writing style, but it is good natured and likable. Looks to be done on a small budget, and it comes through as a champion of the small budget movies.
  • This is one of the most cerebral movies I have ever seen. If you loved Pi, give this one a try. Jan Murray gives one of the most compelling performances of all time. The entire supporting cast is terrific, especially noteworthy since the production budget for the whole thing was about $200. Just watch it unfold and happen to you.
  • bkoganbing24 October 2010
    It's sad that The Day Of The Wolves was not done by a major studio with some decent scripting and editing as part of the package. Had it been the film could have been a classic. It had the makings.

    It's a combination of High Noon and the Phil Karlson noir classic Kansas City Confidential. Richard Egan as the local chief of police busts one of the kids of a city councilman and for his pains loses his job. He takes it philosophically.

    At the same time Jan Murray as Preston Foster did in Kansas City Confidential recruits six professional criminals all unknown to each other and all use numbers when addressing each other and him. They also wear gloves at all times so no fingerprints can be detected.

    Murray has an audacious military style operation planned to hit several locations in a small town on a pay day at the main employer which is a lumberyard. These heist commandos are trained down to perfection.

    But when the operation goes down it's the former sheriff Egan who springs into action, purely from reflex. What happens after that is for you to see. Martha Hyer plays Mrs. Egan and she reacts the same way to his involvement the same way Grace Kelly did.

    Shot completely on location in Arizona, The Day Of The Wolves shows many cheap touches, obviously because the film didn't have the budget. One thing that was terribly wrong. Egan has only a shotgun when he deals with the seven criminal commandos. No way in the world he was able to do what he did with only a shotgun which could not have been fired for distance the way it was. Maybe a bigger studio's writing and editing staff would have realized that.

    Still it's not a bad TV film and it really could have been a lot better.
  • Quentin Tarantino may have seen ALSO this one : the gang boss does not want his men can identify themselves, and he wants them to choose (or he chooses for them : memory is not sure about that) names of numbers or colors or anything else. Remind you something ? It is clearly one source of one of the good ideas of Tarantino in RESERVOIR DOGS. Tarantino has seen many movies : he makes homage to the famous first dialogue line of DEATH TRAP / EATEN ALIVE / STARLIGHT SLAUGTHER (USA 1976) directed by Tobe Hooper in KILL BILL, and to many others movies he has seen in his own movies. He liked what we liked in the 60's & the 70's. And because of his "history of movies" memories, we can even re-discover such movies as this quite funny DAY OF THE WOLVES ! As Latin proverb says : NIHIL NOVI SUB SOLE (Nothing new under the sun) !
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If Quentin Tarantino has not seen "The Day of the Wolves," then he ought to watch it. This ranks as a low-budget but above average heist caper that takes place in a small, modern-day Arizona town when a gang of thieves strike without warning and rob the banks, grocery stores, and manufacturing plants of all their cash. The mastermind behind this heist is a meticulous planner known only as Number 1 (Jan Murray of "Tarzan and the Great River") who assembles a team of six crackerjack thieves, including himself. Before they convene at a desert hideout, he orders each man culivate a beard, and he furnishes them with specific instructions. Once they arrive at the hide-out, they discard their clothing and put on jump-suits and gloves. He designates each individual by a numeral, and then he outlines his audacious plan to steal over a million dollars in dough from a small town. Number One has everything laid out to the nth degree. He trains his crew and has them drill on a number of torn-up buildings that simulate the real-life setting. None of the guys are happy about the airtight security precautions, but Number One rules them with an iron hand. Each of them stands to earn at least $50-thousand dollars. Not only have they never met, but they are also prohibited from using their actual names. They are told that this is largely for their benefit. Number One blindfolded them before he brought them to their hide-out and he does the same when they leave.

    Meanwhile, Police Chief Pete Anderson (stocky Richard Egan of "The 300 Spartans") pulls over a couple of kids who have been joyriding recklessly around town in a dune buggy. The irate driver turns out to be the son of an influential town council member, and he complains to his father. The mayor convenes the council, and they vote to fire Anderson. Anderson's deputy Hank (John Lupton of "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter") confides in his ex-boss that he doesn't think he has what it takes to be police chief. Anderson advises Hank to simmer down because what kind of catastrophic crime could occur in a town with fewer than 8-thousand people. Just as Hank is settling into his new position, the thieves appear like a well-oiled machine and lock up Hank and his two deputies. The thieves learn about Anderson's resignation, but they aren't prepared for it when the ex-chief grabs a shotgun and a fistful of shells and lets the lead fly.

    Phillipine-born writer & director Ferde Grofe, Jr., doesn't wear out his welcome with this trim 90 heist caper. Everything is basically cut and dried. The major complication here that the villains did not count on was Pete Anderson's courageous act of storming streets with a shotgun to thwart their raid. Rick Jason of "Combat" fame plays henchman Number Six. Anderson drops him and another thieve with his accurate shooting. Grofe knows when to cut away from the authorities back to the criminals. The catch here is that this thriller was produced after the Production Code Administration was abolished, so the bad guys get to carry off their loot—those that is who survive Anderson's target practice with them. There is nothing pretentious here, and this movie may even be one of the earliest where the villains wanted to impose more than the usual number of safety precautions for not getting caught. The character of Police Chief Peter Anderson owes a lot to the Gary Cooper's Will Kane, town marshal in the western classic "High Noon." Anderson has nothing but contempt for the town after the raid, and he refuses to take back his badge when they come crawling to him. The Jan Murray mastermind does a pretty thorough job of setting up the robbery. Character actor Percy Helton of "The Sons of Katie Elder" has an amusing scene as a farmer.
  • This movie was filmed back in 1971 in Lake Havasu City, Az. I really liked the movie, but unfortunately I knew a lot of the local people that they used in the film, & the layout of the town. So the "towns people" laughed at how it was made and their family or friends that were in it. They didn't stop to think of how possible it was for this to really happen. I've been waiting for someone like yourselves to give their thoughts on it. Now I can show the people who were here at that time, that it truly was a good movie. Thanks
  • "The Day of the Wolves" has attracted a small cult among die-hard aficionados of the crime syndicate genre, yet the central concept of a large-scale robbery pulled off by an anonymous boss (and his specifically-invited cohorts, who don't know their leader nor each other) isn't too original--it reminds one right away of "The Thomas Crown Affair", and probably a few other titles besides. The low-budget yarn begins with one man killing a restaurant manager, another robbing a bank while disguised as a postman (!), and still another robbing a hilltop residence; these three crooks, as well as three other men, are then brought to a secret hideout where their new leader (Jan Murray, playing "No.1") lays out his plan: to overtake a small town after knocking out the phones and electricity, each man standing to gain $50,000 G's. Richard Egan plays the chief of police--recently dismissed by his own city council!--who is the only town resident brave enough to take on the bad guys. "Wolves" must have been more fun to make than it is to watch. Apparently, the population of Lake Havasu City got involved in the production, and the results have that stilted, tentative feel of an amateur project wherein everybody pitches in without actually possessing noticeable film-making talent. Egan, though looking weathered, does his best without embarrassing himself; as his child-hugging spouse, Martha Hyer isn't as fortunate. Surprisingly, Murray really delivers the goods as the brains of the outfit, and there's a nifty ending with him on TV. Sean Bonniwell's score, which sounds like stoned-out jazz, dates the picture more than anything else, though the opening theme song is a gone gasser. "Nameless men have heard the cry of silent, pounding hoofs," we're told, "While nameless men like you and I will never hear the wolves!" Huh?? ** from ****
  • I remember seeing this flick in the late '70's on the late, late movie. At the time I recall thinking it had the lowest production values I'd ever seen. Of course, I didn't know what production values were then and I hadn't yet seen " Werewolves on Wheels" or a host of other films . Even though it was such a cheapie I enjoyed the plot--Most especially the surprise ending. That movie had stuck in my mind because of the low budget and when I saw "reservoir Dogs" for the first time it seemed familiar. I finally remembered the name of the film that gave me that eerie feeling of having seen a flick before and now IMDb gives me a forum where I can comment on it. Tarantino has seen every cheapie flick ever made and it's obvious that he loves to do his little homages in his films. It seems clear to me that he remembered "day of the Wolves" and, like me, saw that there was a good story hidden behind those terrible production values. It's so great to have a director who loves all those outre loser movies that came out which had a little gem hiding in the crap. It's really great that he can pay his homages to those films and make it work. Watch "day of the wolves", if you can ever find it, and you'll most likely see what I saw in the comparison. Thanks, Quentin.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With a title like this, one might expect a cast like Leslie Nielson, Lynda Day George and Stuart Whitman pitted against a town full of rabid canines. In actuality, it's a heist flick with ambitions a bit beyond its budget. (The title is explained within the film as well.) Murray plays a mysterious ringleader who hires six men to carry out the elaborate scheme of fleecing an entire small desert town in a matter of three hours. They are each given numbers, instead of names, and he asks them to disguise themselves with beards and to wear gloves all the time in an effort to keep their identities secret, even from each other. They happen to converge on the town the very day they've assigned a new sheriff the previous one, Egan, having been deemed too strict and too cynical for what the city fathers assume to be an ideal town. Fortunately, Egan hasn't gotten around to fully vacating since he's practically all that stands between the seven numbered thieves and their targets. Egan gives an able enough performance, though it's nothing to write home about. As his wife, Hyer is handed a thankless and colorless role. She had been experiencing severe career slippage up to this film and wisely took a hike forever after. If she were going to slum anyway, it's a shame it couldn't have been in Irwin Allen's or Jennings Lang's disaster epics where at least she'd have been dressed nicely and photographed well. Murray seems to be enjoying a break from more comedic parts. Jason looks pretty good and does fairly well as one of the hired henchmen. Capps, as Number 6, has one of the swishiest walks that any ostensibly macho male character ever displayed on film. A novel concept is at least interesting enough to hold the viewer's attention, but it really can't fully take off thanks to a couple of things. First, the budget is very tight and so the settings, the lighting, the cinematography and the action sequences take a hit. The shootouts aren't too bad, but the scenes involving skydiving are hampered. Also, the script (written by the director, who also produced!) lacks zing and polish. A bit too much time is spent in the set-up and with the dullards of the town while more tense scenes would have been welcomed during the actual carrying out of the crime or perhaps a bit more development of the dénouement. There are also several bad actors on hand, apart from the name brand quartet. Stay alert, however, for the hilarious female extra who gets to say the line, "Pete Anderson's been hurt!" She and her crony look like the inspiration for Joy and Verla in the syndicated comic strip The Dinette Set and they amuse with their heinous over-listening to the scene at hand. One preposterous development has several of the henchman being shown clean shaven and then wearing full, year-long grown beards within a day or two – which look very fake – only to be later shown shaving them off as if they are real! That's probably the most ridiculous thing in the movie. Otherwise, it's really not too bad a time killer and has elements that surely inspired the makers of other later (and better) heist films. Distinctive character actor Helton has a brief, but amusing, cameo as a farmer.
  • Like my summary suggests, this IS the worst film ever made. The acting is wooden, the plot is paper thin, and the budget...well, budget implies that there was money to make this film, and quite frankly, I don' think that they had one. It must have taken the director an hour to write tops, and the only reason that I have seen it is because I couldn't be bothered to do my Geography coursework and found it on the smallest of channels available, one that shows the "Classic", b/w beverly hillbillies shows - prior to singing on the theme tune. The other review did not talk about the plot, so let me explain:

    7bearded men (who look suspiciously like Fidle Castro) rob the town for all its worth, can the former sheriff save the day? Cheapest of stunts, dramatic dying scenes (its like this will be their "BIG BREAK" and poor direction makes this film drag on. But it is because of all of these things, that the film is so funny to watch. It is truly awful, but worth a watch, because you will appreciate other films - you may even begin to like George Lazenby as Bond.

    This film is shocking, but watch it, you will laugh your head off if you take the piss out of it. The ending, is particularly memorable.
  • I watched it again a few miutes ago and I can't prevent myself to think about a western scheme, where the dismissed sheriff wil do anything to save his town from a bunch of outlaws. Yes, a scheme which we already have seen dozen times before, a kind of DIE HARD DNA. And also a cult movie for the likes of QT. Look for RESERVOIR DOGS, as e also could do with TAKING OF PELHAM 123. The ending is so surprising too.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I couldn't help thinking that with a better script, bigger budget and a celebrity cast, the story in "The Day of the Wolves" has some potential as a modern day blockbuster. You know, somewhere on the order of the 'Ocean' films (they used numbers too). Instead, you have a quickie flick from Balut Productions made on the cheap, as in less than two hundred grand. So with all that, it's not a bad little programmer that surprisingly holds your interest even as Jan Murray puts together a gang of criminals with the worst set of fake beards in movie history.

    You know, I remember Jan Murray from watching TV as a kid and recall seeing him many times, yet when I check his credits here on the IMDb, most of his appearances in the Fifties and Sixties were as TV guest spots, so something doesn't compute. As a comedian he seemed to have been all over the place, so maybe it was on a bunch of game shows and variety hours. I don't think I ever saw him as a clown.

    In an earlier time, I think a group of criminals using this modus operandi might have actually gotten away with it. A few of them in the picture actually did, which kind of surprised me, but this was after the Production Code lost influence. When it clicked with Number #4 (Rick Jason) in his hospital bed that Uncle Willie was Number #1, I almost thought the picture would smoke out the rest of the outlaws. However the picture was already hitting the ninety minute mark and I knew this shoestring budget could only go so far.

    Here's a suggestion for the folks at Mill Creek Entertainment - take this one out of your Westerns box set and trade it out for "Drums in the Deep South" that's found in the Mystery/Crime compilation. Both moves would make a lot more sense.