Go to Blazes (1962 film)

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Go to Blazes
Directed byMichael Truman
Produced byKenneth Harper
Written byPatrick Campbell
Vivienne Knight
StarringDave King
Robert Morley
Daniel Massey
Dennis Price
Music byJohn Addison
CinematographyErwin Hillier
Edited byRichard Best
Distributed byWarner-Pathé Distributors
Release date
CountryUnited Kingdom

Go to Blazes is a 1962 British comedy film directed by Michael Truman and starring Dave King, Robert Morley, Norman Rossington, Daniel Massey, Dennis Price, Maggie Smith, David Lodge. It also featured Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier, later to feature prominently in Dad's Army.


Three incompetent criminals steal a fire engine as a getaway vehicle.

Recently released from prison, Bernard, Harry and Alfie have planned the perfect bank robbery, for which they need the perfect getaway. This is the part that let them down last time, hence their prolonged stay at ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure…’

They have settled on a fire engine as the least likely form of transport that the Police would stop and search. They steal a well maintained working 1930s fire engine stored in a remote fire station and swap it for a scrap engine of the same type they bought from a junk yard for a few quid. Then they burn down the fire station to hide the theft, leaving the burnt out scrapper in the debris.

Testing their theory, an attempt to rob a jewellers shop ends in disaster. Whilst Harry is dodging the Police as he sizes up the target, Bernard and Alfie with the engine are flagged down by a desperate home-owner (Derek Nimmo) whose basement flat is flooding and mistakes them for the real fire brigade. Their attempts to pump out the flat make matters worse, and they flee the scene with hoses trailing behind them as the real fire engine arrives. Harry’s accidental discovery of a love interest at the same time only adds to the confusion.

Failure only makes them more determined, but they must be more professional and must pass as trained firemen; their obvious incompetence at the flooded flat nearly ruined their plans. Close friend Arson Eddie (Robert Morley) is unable (and unwilling) to help them, as devoted to the ‘sacred flame’ he knows all there is to know about starting fires, but next to nothing about putting them out.

A chance conversation heard outside a fire station puts them onto Withers (Dennis Price), a fire chief dismissed from the service for arson, theft and conduct unbecoming. He is persuaded to train them all in exchange for a share in the proceeds of the bank job.

The robbery takes place with the lads roping in Eddie to provide a fire at the bank as a distraction, intercepting the phone call from the bank to the fire brigade and attending the ‘blaze’ themselves. All goes to plan and the thieves escape with a fire hose stuffed with banknotes.

It is only as they make their getaway that they are flagged down once more and required to join in the fighting of a real fire… undeterred, well equipped, and above all trained, they join in.

It is a pity that Alfie attaches the wrong hose to the pump and covers the scene of the fire with the stolen money.

The film draws to a close with the crooks sitting in the ‘Black Maria’ on the way to their next stay in prison; in the window behind the van a Royal limousine is visible in the distance.

Seeing it, Bernard remarks he has just had another idea for the perfect getaway vehicle…


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