Monday just gone (10th April), saw another excursion to the pictures for Millman Street Community Centre members, once again courtesy of our friends at Warner Brothers cinema.
The movie they saw, Going Out In Style is a comedy, a ‘reboot’ of a 1979 film of the same name which starred George Burns. The new version features Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin as senior citizens who attempt to rob a bank after their pensions are cancelled.
Unusually for the films our members are shown, Going Out In Style is actually still on general release now. Some things never change, however: this reporter is still not allowed to attend the screenings, due to the long, long memory of those who run the movie business (i.e: his expulsion from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood after a 1941 contretemps with Carmen Miranda over the merits of Citizen Kane).
But what of those who did see Going Out In Style? As ever, your HCA hack tried to get an idea of the story from what our members recalled a couple of days later.
“It was a very good film,” said David. “Michael Caine was in it. The best bit was the ID parade. They’d robbed a bank, and the police asked kids to do the identity parade. The kids pretended not to recognize ’em in the line up,” he laughed. “It was fantastic, a great film!”
“It was a laugh,” said Margaret. “I was expecting him to be a young man doing the robbery, but they turned out to be elderly.”
She roared with laughter at any suggestion that Going Out In Style had given her and Queenie any ideas of following messers Caine, Freeman and Arkin into a late career in bank-robbery.
A miscellany of celluloid robbery, swindling and general ne’er-do-well-ery…
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Quentin Tarantino’s ultra-violent heist movie, peppered with crackling wise-guy pop cultural dialogue, the director’s fave choons on the soundtrack and colour-co-ordinated character names. Caused quite a storm on its release a quarter century ago, and this reporter’s then-girlfriend (a big cineaste) insisted on seeing it at the cinema. Twice. It seemed like an event at the time, but nowadays the flick is sadly relegated to re-runs on Channel 5.
The Bank Shot (1974)
Perhaps best known for his Oscar-winning portrayal of General George Patton (1970), George C Scott also starred in this comic caper, wherein a bank is temporarily housed on a mobile home whilst a more traditional bricks and mortar structure is being built to house 70s moolah. This unlikely scenario permits tea-leafs to wheel the entire bank away in order to rob it. It would be wrong to reveal if they managed to do so, even if this reporter could remember the ending…
Kelly’s Heroes (1970)
Far-fetched bank holiday fodder, but none the worse for that. At the tail-end of WW2, Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas lead a rag-tag band of American GI’s in a semi-comic quest to er, liberate, gold bullion held in a bank vault. Trouble is, the bank is behind enemy lines – and guarded by three tiger tanks, to boot. Happily for Clint and the gold-hungry gang, by the time they discover this potential plan-spoiler, they’ve already recruited Oddball (Donald Sutherland), a US tank commander who agrees to lend his Shermans to the bank raid in exchange for a share of the spoils. Somewhat incongruously, Oddball and pals are hippie types, some twenty-odd years too early. Equally unlikely is when the Nazis, led by Karl-Otto Alberty’s Panzer Kommandant, suddenly agree to help the Americans nick the gold. Lovely old tosh.
The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle (1979)
A somewhat revisionist version of the Sex Pistols’ story, as told by their manager Malcolm McLaren. Confusingly for future generations, the film has very little to tell about the truth of the Pistols, and its title is pretty much a misnomer: in reality, the band released records quite legally, and fans bought them of their own free will. It is certain that the taxman received what he was due from said sales, so there was no ‘swindle’. Director Julien Temple redeemed himself somewhat in 2000 when he also helmed The Filth And The Fury documentary, the band’s version of events. Sadly, some folk still like to believe McLaren’s ‘svengali’ nonsense.
Stand And Deliver (1981)
But this is not a film, I hear you cry! Quite right. But the video for Adam and the Ants’ hit single featured singer Adam as a masked, tricorn-wearing highwayman who, according to the lyrics, was more concerned with criticism of contemporary fashion than with actually demanding money with menaces. Perhaps the closest he came during the Ants’ heyday was on the previous year’s Kings Of the Wild Frontier album: a track called Jolly Roger, which aside from featuring that rarest of things in a pop song – a whistling solo – ludicrously claimed that, “It’s your money that we want…And your money we shall have!” Daft buggers.
And now back to the main feature…
Gloria thought that Going Out In Style was “Lovely! I really enjoyed it. It started off sad but had a good ending. They make you very welcome there,” she added of Warner Bros cinema staff. “And they put on a nice tea afterwards. They don’t have to do that but they do. Very nice people!”
Holborn Community Association would like to thank our friends at Warner Bros cinema for providing our members with both a film and slap-up feast afterwards, all free of charge.
- By the way: most film experts now agree that Citizen Kane was not “a load of old cobblers”, as Ms Miranda insisted.
Report by Notes Smudger