Loophole (1981 film)

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Loophole is a 1981 British heist film, directed by John Quested, and starring Albert Finney, Martin Sheen, Susannah York, Jonathan Pryce, Colin Blakely and Tony Doyle.[1] It was written by Jonathan Hales, based upon the novel by Robert Pollock. Music is by Lalo Schifrin.


Plot synopsis[edit]

When architect Stephen Booker (played by Sheen) loses his partnership, he finds jobs hard to come by, and with money in short supply, he unwittingly becomes involved in a daring scheme to rob one of London's biggest bank vaults. The film opens with a safe-break at (presumably) a company, but which yields unexpectedly low gains for the robbers. Daniels (Finney), plots the bank robbery having targeted this institution because he has discovered that the main subterranean vault, thought to be impregnable, lies within a short distance of a main sewer. Enlisting the services of a somewhat 'bent' boat-dealer to supply equipment, he targets Booker who, as an architect, has the skill needed to pinpoint the exact location underground. To do him justice, Booker angrily rejects the first approach from Daniels but later, harassed by his bank manager (played by Robert Morley) and having to support a new business venture by his wife (Susannah York), he agrees on the undertaking, after a second approach by Daniels, provided that no violence is to be used.

With Gardner (Colin Blakely) keeping watch from a rented nearby office, the titular loophole of the sewer access is utilized by the robbery crew setting off the bank alarms on entering the vault from beneath and continuing to empty the contents when the police arrive. The police decide the alarms are defective and turn them off for the evening.

As the gang are preparing to leave, a heavy downpour of rain starts to flood the sewer system and the gang are seen to struggle against a raging torrent as they are laden with spoils. Booker refuses to leave and remains in the vault. One of the robbers who had been injured by inhaling sewer gas earlier in the scene, Harry (Alfred Lynch), is seen floating away and is presumed to die.

The last scene shows Booker, now a highly successful architect managing his own large practise, being approached by Daniels who states "I have a job for you...".


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