10 February 2011 | paulwatts
Unique Australian Film Noir
The opening credit sequences show an armoured van on Gladesville bridge in Sydney (not Sydney Harbour Bridge as an earlier review states), then at White Bay above the Rozelle freight yard with all its huge billboards, then Pyrmont Bridge (now a public walkway) very close to the heart of Sydney. The Cahill Expressway above Circular Quay Railway Station (which signage can clearly be seen) also appears in the opening minutes. However, the scene depicting the robbery of an armoured van by masked villains and the subsequent getaway was certainly shot in Adelaide. It is unclear why this film was made in two different cities 1200km apart.
The basic story of an insider robbery of a counting house is fairly simple but the subplots get quite complex, and as someone indicated earlier it is sometimes hard to know who is double crossing whom. The director Beresford is obviously a student of film and appears to have gone to great lengths to give this film a tough "noir" edge. I think really he has over-compressed things a little too much. It is fairly short at barely 90 minutes and could have been fleshed out more in places. The final reel gets quite out of control, and its very difficult to discern which of the major players survive to the end of the film. To say the least, the film is extremely tough and violent, sort of like an Aussie cop show of the era with huge helpings of gore. I get the feeling from the "making of" that comes on the DVD, that Beresford might have played the final reel rather differently if he were remaking this film.
Many of the lead actors here had achieved fame in Australian television. Ed Devereaux, Tony Bonner, Charles Tingwell, Lucky Grills, Candy Raymond and Frank Wilson were all well known to Australian audiences of the day. Alan Cassell plays a very similar smarmy character to that he later portrayed in The Club (1980). Candy Raymond was a stylish, attractive actress whose main drawback appears to have been a rather small bustline (the actress's own words in the accompanying interviews). It didn't stop her reprising her nude scenes from Dons Party (1976) in this film. Nonetheless, I feel she is underutilised here.
The funeral procession scene shot in central Sydney involving numerous Datsun 120Y's and equally numerous armoured vans (all of them white), shot with a very long lens, presents a striking scene, which may have been a nod to the famous motorcycle funeral procession in Stone (1974), made four years earlier in the very same city.
I believe Money Movers is some sort of slightly flawed but unique piece of art, not really held in high esteem by its director these days, and certainly not perfect, and extremely hard to find, but well worth tracking down.