Invitations to the World Premiere in Sydney, Australia on 1st February 1979 were enclosed in a plastic wallet that included a banknote, a card, a pick, hacksaw blade and hairpins.
Bryan Brown has said of this film: "It was a fun movie to do and now that we are doing quite a few crime genre movies like Chopper (2000) and Dirty Deeds (2002), it was really 'Money Movers' that first put us into that sort of territory".
The film is loosely based on two real-life events in which Australian Security Industry Guru turned author Devon Minchin based his novel on. They were the 1970 Sydney Armoured Car Robbery where $A587,000 was stolen from a Mayne Nickless armored van. The other was also a 1970 incident, a $A280,000 robbery where bandits impersonated policemen and broke into Metropolitan Security Services' offices.
Dummy banknotes used in the film were photographed in the main vault of the Central Bank in Adelaide. They were guarded by two security guards.
This movie was the first film in a three picture deal that director Bruce Beresford had with the South Australian Film Corporation. The second film was Breaker Morant (1980) whilst the third and final movie was The Club (1980).
Director Bruce Beresford once said of this film: "After doing The Getting of Wisdom (1977), which is a very low-key film, I wanted to do something which was full of action. I thought about a thriller and toyed with some ideas of my own."
Source novel author Devon Minchin once famously said that the only person who could rob his security firm was himself. As such the premise of an "inside job" formed the basis of the novel's heist and also this filmed adaptation.
Over one million dollars in real Australian money bills was used as prop money for making this movie.
Armed security guards were on guard constantly during the filming of scenes involving the use of large amounts of real money.
Many of the lead cast were known to Australian audiences from working as television actors on Australian TV particularly on police and crime dramas.
In preparation for this movie about a security firm heist, director Bruce Beresford worked at a Sydney premises of the MSS (Metropolitan Security Services) for two months prior to shooting this picture. Devon Minchin, who wrote this movie's source novel, was the founder of MSS.
The movie's title, 'Money Movers', was shown during the opening credits in a display font outlined over a photographic image of Australian banknotes. The money bills seen were the paper Australian $10 and $20 bill. These banknotes are no longer manufactured by the Reserve Bank of Australia as they were replaced with plastic bills in 1988.
This picture was one of fifty Australian films selected for preservation as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Kodak / Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project.
The Masks worn by the actors at the start of the film are made by a French company called Cesar. They were made of vinyl.
In a telephone interview with Peter Malone on 15th May 1999 and published in Signis, this movie's director Bruce Beresford said of this picture: "Well, it's a pretty terrible film. Perhaps that's why it's overlooked. It was a kind of stop-gap thing. When I signed a contract to do some work with the South Australian Film Corporation, I originally signed to do a film that I never actually made for them, 'The Ferryman', a script I'd written. Then, after I'd signed, they said they didn't want to do that. I said that I understood that that's what we were going to do. They told me to have another look at my contract. They said they were going to do a film with me but not 'The Ferryman'. I re-read it and saw that this was in fact true. They had a number of other projects, none of which I liked, and we finished up with 'Money Movers' as a sort of compromise...No, nobody went to see it. I went on the opening night in Melbourne and there were three people there and me. I was sitting up the back wondering what time the session started and then the film came on. I thought, 'this is going to be a disaster'. And it was."
Despite the movie failing at the box office, it has gained quite a cult following with dirt track speedway fans in Australia largely due to the roughly 3 minutes of footage shot at Adelaide's famous Rowley Park Speedway which closed its doors in April 1979 after almost 30 years of operation.
This picture was one of few 1970s Australian theatrical feature films that were police/crime dramas or thrillers though during that era this genre was represented more commonly on Australian television with such Australian cops and robbers TV series as Matlock Police (1971), Division 4 (1969), Homicide (1964) and Cop Shop (1977).
Director Bruce Beresford saw a copy of Devon Minchin's book in an Adelaide second-hand book store and thought that it would make a good film. Beresford once said of this: "It was just what I needed. It's so authentic - the whole thing actually happened."
This was the first film of the South Australian Film Corporation which was aimed at an adult audience and which was expected to receive an "R-rated" Classification even before the cameras started rolling.
This was one of two 1978 films (the other was The Getting of Wisdom (1977)) that director Bruce Beresford made directly after winning the Australian Film Institute's Best Director Award for Don's Party (1976).
A number of production personnel who worked on this movie also worked on director Bruce Beresford's earlier film, Don's Party (1976). These included actresses Jeanie Drynan and Candy Raymond, DOP Don McAlpine, editor William M. Anderson, costume designer Anna Senior and sound designer Peter Fenton.
This movie starred Ed Devereaux and Tony Bonner who were very well known to Australian audiences from having appeared together for a number of years in the Australian family television series Skippy (1968).
Ed Devereaux returned to Australia after eight years to appear in this movie. The Skippy (1968) star once said of this movie: "I came because my part suits me to the ground - and because I have great faith in Bruce Beresford."
Reportedly, publicity for this movie stated that originally director Bruce Beresford had first attempted to write an action movie himself as an original screenplay but was unsuccessful in doing so. Beresford then discovered the 'Money Movers' book by Devon Minchin which he then chose to write as an adaptation screenplay.
Reportedly, British stuntman and stunt co-coordinator Alf Joint came out to Australia to specially work on this movie during a break he had from working on Superman (1978).
Reportedly, this 1978 movie failed at the box-office when first released in theaters in Australia during early 1979.
This movie was made and released about six years after author Devon Minchin's source novel of the same name was first published in 1972.
'Allmovie' said of this film that "In order to raise the money for his "breakthrough" film Breaker Morant (1980), Australian director Bruce Beresford dashed off the guaranteed audience pleaser Money Movers."
A gigantic counting house set was built on the South Australian Film Corporation studios in the suburb of Norwood in Adelaide for the filming of this movie. Filming (including exteriors) was also done at a real counting house in Sydney.
Reportedly, publicity for this movie stated that it was the first time that a security firm (at least in Australia) had let outsiders use their armored vehicles and film inside its high-level security counting house.
Devon Minchin, author of this movie's source novel of the same name, also acted as a technical consultant to the production.
Novelist Devon Minchin was the Founder of the Metropolitan Security Services company. Minchin sold this company to Mayne Nickless in 1970.
This Bruce Beresford movie immediatley followed his The Getting of Wisdom (1977) film which was very much a picture filled with women characters. Beresford chose this heist movie, a very tough testosterone film project, as it was very anti-thetical gender wise to his previous picture.
After this movie's filming wrapped, director Bruce Beresford went on to film (uncredited) re-shoots for Blue Fin (1978), another South Australian Film Corporation production.
Director Bruce Beresford persuaded producer Matt Carroll to allow some filming of this Sydney-set picture in Sydney including both some exteriors and a few exteriors. The high majority of this movie was filmed in Adelaide, South Australia but with the small amount of filming in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), the film was able to attract a small investment from the NSW Film Corporation.
This film was one of the first violent action movies of the modern Australian cinema. The film garnered an Australian "R" Certificate which restricted its attendance to people 18 years and over.
First adults "R-rated" (for audiences 18+ years and over) film produced by the South Australian Film Corporation. The second would be Pacific Banana (1980).
Private financier Bob Sanders, of his Pact Productions company, said in an interview with Australian film magazine 'Cinema Papers' published in the March-April 1981 edition: ''We went to the SAFC [South Australian Film Corporation] and became involved in 'Blue Fin' and 'Money Movers'. They were complex investments. In the end, we owned the Australian rights, but not the foreign. This is a shame as both films are beginning to look good in the foreign market. They didn't do terribly well here, although when 'Blue Fin' was run as a double with 'Storm Boy' along the Queensland coast it began to look quite healthy.''
The crew includes four Oscar nominees or winners in subsequent years: Bruce Beresford, John Seale, Don McAlpine and Scott Hicks.
This movie represents an instance where a character in the film has the same name of a real life celebrity. Ed Devereaux plays security officer Dick Martin in this movie and Dick Martin was the name of a famous real life American TV comedian and television director, mostly well known for co-hosting Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967).