$ (Dollars)

1971, Movie, R, 119 mins


$ (DOLLARS) is a pleasant, somewhat underrated chase movie which was written and directed by Richard Brooks, in a significant departure from the heavy dramas (IN COLD BLOOD, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF) he was usually associated with.

Joe Collins (Beatty) is a security expert employed in Hamburg who plans to rob three safety deposit boxes which he knows are rented by criminals, and Dawn Divine (Hawn) is a prostitute whom he enlists to help him in the endeavor. Their targets are a crooked US Army sergeant (Brady) who scammed money from service clubs, a drug dealer (Brauss) and a courier (Webber) who's been double-dealing the mob. Employed at their bank to install a security system, Collins arranges to be placed inside the vault after a bomb scare. Timing his moves perfectly so as to go unnoticed by surveillance cameras, he stashes the loot in Dawn's safety deposit box so she can blithely collect it later.

An exercise in triviality, and, like most of Brooks's films, not particulary original, $ is nevertheless quite entertaining. Beatty and Hawn play extremely well together and Frobe is outstanding as the bank manager. Running rather longer than one might like, $ benefits from Brooks's lively handling and Quincy Jones's sparse but effective musical score. leave a comment

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