Bank Shot [1974]

The concept is sound: George C. Scott is the legendary heist man who breaks prison (in a 40-ton earthmover, no less, which makes for an interesting chase scene) to take charge of a haphazard job. Taking the term "bank robbery" literally, he decides to make off with the entire bank! Now he just has to hide it from a statewide dragnet (led by rotund redneck icon Clifton James) and keep his ragged gang in line while a volatile safecracker blows up everything except the safe. Adapted from the Donald Westlake novel (from his Dortmunder series) and directed at a shrill pitch by dance legend Gower Champion, Bank Shot is an awkward but amiable misfire of a comic caper. Scott seems ill at ease, as if wondering how he ever wound up here, but he maintains a straight face while all around him furiously mug for laughs. --Sean Axmaker

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