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: The St. Louis Bank Robbery (1959)  ( 812 )
cigar joe
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« : November 16, 2021, 05:42:39 PM »

 Directed by Charles Guggenheim and John Stix.
Guggenheim was a director  who specialized mostly in documentaries. John Stix was a TV director. Written by Richard T. Heffron.   Cinematography was by Victor Duncan and Music was by Bernardo Segall.

The film stars Steve McQueen as George Fowler, Crahan Denton To Kill A Mocking Bird as John Egan, the gang boss, David Clarke Raw Deal, The Set-Up, Abandoned, Edge Of Doom, The Narrow Margin, Odds Against Tomorrow as Gino, Ann's brother, James Dukas The Hustler, The Detective, Ironweed as Willy, the driver, Molly McCarthy Blast Of Silence as Ann, George's ex-girlfriend and Gino's sister, Martha Gable as Eddie's wife, Larry Gerst as Eddie.

This has (no surprise) a quasi documentary feel to it. Great use of locations. McQueen plays vulnerable convincingly. The rest of the cast is equally believable

There is a nice sequence showing Gino going stir crazy. Gino is shaving in the bathroom and George comes into the hotel flop and shuts the bathroom door as he passes it. Everything around him becomes enhanced, the dripping sink, the Coriolis of the draining tub. Claustrophobia. The four walls start spinning

The homosexual subtext is pretty out in the open. The St. Louis locations have an archival importance. Interesting film from 1959. 7/10


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« #1 : November 18, 2021, 12:26:53 PM »

The bank robbery sequence is VG, though the  cop who waits outside the door and kills one of the bandits is ridiculous. And the other who suicides? Come on. And no cop is posted near the bank after the lipstick message. And the whole plot about the girl is simply boring. And unbelievable. There is no action before the bank robbery and that makes it 6/10, only for the last 15 minutes. BTW this was distributed over here as Gli occhi del testimone (The Eyes of the witness): i wonder who this witness may be.


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« #2 : November 18, 2021, 06:50:43 PM »

The bank robbery sequence is VG, though the  cop who waits outside the door and kills one of the bandits is ridiculous. And the other who suicides? Come on. And no cop is posted near the bank after the lipstick message. And the whole plot about the girl is simply boring. And unbelievable. There is no action before the bank robbery and that makes it 6/10, only for the last 15 minutes. BTW this was distributed over here as Gli occhi del testimone (The Eyes of the witness): i wonder who this witness may be.

The one who suicides is Gino who doesn't want to go back to prison. Its based on a real robbery that took place in 1953. The sister of Gino was the fictitious character added for the film and all the police in the film were participants at the real robbery.


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« #3 : November 19, 2021, 04:18:07 AM »

Did one of the real robbers suicide?


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« #4 : November 19, 2021, 02:13:40 PM »

Did one of the real robbers suicide?

Fred William Bowerman's criminal career began in the 1930s and he was eventually arrested in Illinois for armed robbery in 1932. He served five years and was paroled in 1937 but soon after his release, he began committing robberies throughout the Chicago area. While living in Michigan, he drove to Chicago using stolen cars committing 36 robberies between June and October, 1938. Captured a year later, he was sentenced to Joliet Prison where he spent the next seven years.[1]

After his release in 1946, Bowerman kept a low profile for several years, but he was eventually identified as one of several men who robbed a bank in South Bend, Indiana for $53,000 in September 1952. The violent daylight robbery, much in the style of Thomas Holden or Alvin Karpis, attracted national attention in the United States as a bank employee was shot for "raising his hands too slowly". Nearing 60 years of age, Bowerman was named #46 by the FBI of its "Ten Most Wanted" list on March 3, 1953.[1]

A little over a month after the South Bend incident, Bowerman participated in one of the most violent bank heists in American history. On the afternoon of April 24,[2] he and three other men entered the Southwest Bank in south St. Louis, Missouri and attempted to hold up the bank. The robbery started out as planned as the men quickly gathered up around $140,000 from the bank teller's cages and prepared to carry them out in a nylon satchel. However, unknown to Bowerman and the others, a bank employee had set off a silent alarm. As the robbers were about to make their getaway, nearly 100 police officers arrived and surrounded the bank. As the robbers began firing at police through the windows, the bank employees hid in the vault to escape the firefight and tear gas thrown into the building. One police officer, Corporal Robert Heitz, was wounded in his head and neck, but eventually time began to work against the robbers.[1]

Bowerman took a female hostage and held a shotgun on her as he attempted to escape,[3] making his way out onto the sidewalk before he shoved the woman to the pavement, breaking both her wrists. Bowerman was shot in the chest by police officer Melburn F. Stein. The bullet pierced a lung and lodged in his spine.

Finding themselves trapped in the bank, Bowerman's remaining partners panicked. One man, Frank Vito, committed suicide by shooting himself with his pistol. When police finally stormed the bank, the other, William Scholl, attempted to go for a backup weapon but police disarmed him and dragged him off in handcuffs.[1] The fourth member of the robbery team, one-time Marquette University college football star Glenn Chernick, the getaway driver, fled when police arrived. He was captured by detectives three days later at his father's house in Chicago. Bowerman was taken to a local hospital where he identified himself as John W. Frederick. However, the FBI used his fingerprints to prove his identity. Bowerman died of his wounds on May 1, 1953.[1]

Bowerman was later portrayed by Crahan Denton in The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery (1959); Melburn Stein, the officer who shot Bowerman, had a small role in the film.[3]


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« #5 : November 20, 2021, 08:29:18 AM »

Thanks.


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