• Money Movers



    Released by: Umbrella Entertainment
    Released on: March 7th, 2017.
    Director: Bruce Beresford
    Cast: Bryan Brown, Ed Devereaux, Terence Donovan, Tony Bonner, Candy Raymond
    Year: 1978
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    The Movie:

    Money Movers opens with a tense scene wherein an armored car belonging to Darcy’s Security Services is robbed in broad daylight by a small but heavily armed gang of men, their identities hidden behind garish rubber masks. The guards are taken out and a bystander killed as the thieves make off with the loot. Once they make it back to their garage, instead of celebrating, things go south for them when a hitman kills each one of them. It turns out he was hired by Jack Henderson (Charles 'Bud' Tingwell), the man who was in charge of planning the robbery in the first place.

    Meanwhile, three Darcy’s employees - Eric Jackson (Terrence Donovan), his brother Brian (Bryan Brown) and their friend Ed Gallagher (Ray Marshall) – are planning a job of their own: to rob the accounting department of the company they work for! A cop named Sammy Rose (Alan Cassell) who has been working the armored car robbery gets wind of what the three are up to and, given that he’s the crooked type, gives notice to Henderson who responds by sending his thugs in to take over. It doesn’t end well. Understandably, the man in charge of Darcy’s, Lionel Darcy (Frank Wilson), is concerned about the robbery and is savvy enough to figure that there might be more to all of this. He talks his right-hand woman, Mindel Seagers (Candy Raymond), into digging around and seeing what she can come up with as far as information goes. Complicating matters even further is the fact that the company holding the policy for Darcy’s insurance are also looking into matters.

    As the film drives along, these various subplots all start to tie together and the film builds to a tense and violent conclusion.

    Directed by Bruce Beresford (who also wrote the script based on a novel by Devon Minchin) long before he hit the big time with major studio productions like Driving Miss Daisy, Money Movers is a really solid heist film ripe with tension and interesting characters. It’s a gritty looking film, but not completely devoid of style – the camerawork is pretty solid here, nicely capturing the locations and the characters as well as the action. Beresford paces the picture well, giving us enough character development to matter and allowing for some unexpected – but very welcome and effective – twists and turns as the storylines bob and weave and then eventually come together.

    The cast, made up of some recognizable Australian character actors, is also quite good. Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, who had a very long career in film and television, does a great job as the man with the plan while Donovan, Brown and Marshall are all quite good as the three friends who get in over their heads. Alan Cassell is also strong as the dirty cop circling about all of this.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Money Movers arrives on DVD in an anamorphic 1.78.1 widescreen transfer that doesn’t appear to have undergone any sort of significant restoration. That said, despite the obvious print damage and color fading it’s watchable enough. Detail isn’t stellar but it’s fine for a standard definition offering. Some minor compression artifacts do show up now and again but there are no noticeable authoring issues aside from that.

    The English language Dolby Mono track has as bit of hiss now and then but is otherwise fine. Levels are properly balanced and the dialogue stays clear enough. No subtitles or alternate language options are provided.

    The main extra on the disc is Count Your Toes, a making-of featurette with writer/director Bruce Beresford and cast members Bryan Brown, Candy Raymond, Terence Donovan and Tony Bonner that was made in 2004 by Mark Hartley (the man behind Not Quite Hollywood). It’s an interesting look back at the making of the film, with some discussion about the events that inspired it as well as stories about what it was like on set, working with Beresford as a director and a fair bit more. This thing runs just over half an hour so it’s pretty thorough and quite interesting.

    The disc also includes a theatrical trailer for the feature, trailers for a few other Bruce Beresford directed pictures available through Umbrella, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Anyone with an appreciation for tough as nails seventies crime thrillers should find much to enjoy about Money Movers. Umbrella’s DVD release is of reasonable quality and the inclusion of the documentary adds some value – but it’s the strength of the feature itself that makes this release worth tracking down.