The Dynamiters (1956)

71 or 75 mins | Drama | May 1956

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HISTORY

The British release title of the film was The Gelignite Gang . Although the film was not registered for U.S. copyright, the print viewed bore two copyright statements: the first, on the film's title card, lists a 1954 copyright date for Cybex Film Productions, Ltd.; the second, at the end of the film, lists a 1956 date for Kingsbury Productions, Inc. It is possible that the end credits, including the copyright statement for Kingsbury, were added for the film's American release. The cast list at the end of the film differs slightly in order from the opening cast list. As explained early in the film by Wayne Morris, as his character, "Jimmy Baxter," "gelignite" is the term used in Britain for what Americans call dynamite. Portions of the film were shot on location throughout London.
       According to a letter contained in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, a script entitled The Dynamiters was submitted for approval on 15 Aug 1955 by Television Library, Inc. of New York City. The letter stated that the film was "being produced for us in England....Upon completion, we shall submit, or our distributor will submit this picture to you for final approval." There is no additional documentation in the file to indicate that the completed film was submitted to the MPAA and it was released without a PCA ... More Less

The British release title of the film was The Gelignite Gang . Although the film was not registered for U.S. copyright, the print viewed bore two copyright statements: the first, on the film's title card, lists a 1954 copyright date for Cybex Film Productions, Ltd.; the second, at the end of the film, lists a 1956 date for Kingsbury Productions, Inc. It is possible that the end credits, including the copyright statement for Kingsbury, were added for the film's American release. The cast list at the end of the film differs slightly in order from the opening cast list. As explained early in the film by Wayne Morris, as his character, "Jimmy Baxter," "gelignite" is the term used in Britain for what Americans call dynamite. Portions of the film were shot on location throughout London.
       According to a letter contained in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, a script entitled The Dynamiters was submitted for approval on 15 Aug 1955 by Television Library, Inc. of New York City. The letter stated that the film was "being produced for us in England....Upon completion, we shall submit, or our distributor will submit this picture to you for final approval." There is no additional documentation in the file to indicate that the completed film was submitted to the MPAA and it was released without a PCA seal. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Jun 1956.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jun 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Citizen-News
21 Jun 1956.
---
MFB
Apr 1956
p. 47.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Jun 1956
p. 946.
The Exhibitor
19 May 1956.
---
Variety
27 Jun 1956
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
Orig story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Green Dragon mus
SOUND
Sd cam
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Danny Boy," by Frederick E. Weatherly (adapted from "Londonderry Air," traditional).
SONGS
"Soho Mambo," music and lyrics by Gene Crowley.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Gelignite Gang
Release Date:
May 1956
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71 or 75
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In London, American Jimmy Baxter, part-owner of Anglo American Investigations, is hired by insurance companies to apprehend "Mr. G," reputed head of the notorious safecrackers known as "The Gelignite Gang," whose spectacular robberies have baffled police. Jimmy has taken the case without the knowledge of his partner, John Rutherford, who warns that the case is too dangerous. Sure that someone knows something about the gang, Jimmy offers a £2,000 reward for information. Although he has received no responses, on a hunch, Jimmy goes to the Green Dragon Club to talk to the owner, Popoulos, who owes Jimmy a large favor. Seeing the headwaiter, Barton, Jimmy recognizes him as longtime criminal Adolf Bergman. In Popoulos' office, Jimmy asks about the Gelignite Gang, but Popoulos denies knowing anything and warns Jimmy to drop the case. Jimmy accepts Popoulos' invitation to dine at the club that night then returns to his office and asks secretary Sally Morton to dinner. She eagerly accepts but asks him not to tell anyone in the office as she earlier had declined an invitation from John. Minutes later, while Jimmy is talking with John about the case, he receives an anonymous phone call from Barton, who wants the reward. Before he can say anything of substance, though, Barton is shot to death. That night, at the Green Dragon, Sally and Jimmy enjoy each other’s company while Inspector Felby of Scotland Yard is telling Popoulos that Barton has been murdered and is suspected of being involved with the Gelignite Gang. After saying that he knew nothing about Barton, Popoulos goes to Jimmy’s table and tells him what happened. ... +


In London, American Jimmy Baxter, part-owner of Anglo American Investigations, is hired by insurance companies to apprehend "Mr. G," reputed head of the notorious safecrackers known as "The Gelignite Gang," whose spectacular robberies have baffled police. Jimmy has taken the case without the knowledge of his partner, John Rutherford, who warns that the case is too dangerous. Sure that someone knows something about the gang, Jimmy offers a £2,000 reward for information. Although he has received no responses, on a hunch, Jimmy goes to the Green Dragon Club to talk to the owner, Popoulos, who owes Jimmy a large favor. Seeing the headwaiter, Barton, Jimmy recognizes him as longtime criminal Adolf Bergman. In Popoulos' office, Jimmy asks about the Gelignite Gang, but Popoulos denies knowing anything and warns Jimmy to drop the case. Jimmy accepts Popoulos' invitation to dine at the club that night then returns to his office and asks secretary Sally Morton to dinner. She eagerly accepts but asks him not to tell anyone in the office as she earlier had declined an invitation from John. Minutes later, while Jimmy is talking with John about the case, he receives an anonymous phone call from Barton, who wants the reward. Before he can say anything of substance, though, Barton is shot to death. That night, at the Green Dragon, Sally and Jimmy enjoy each other’s company while Inspector Felby of Scotland Yard is telling Popoulos that Barton has been murdered and is suspected of being involved with the Gelignite Gang. After saying that he knew nothing about Barton, Popoulos goes to Jimmy’s table and tells him what happened. Jimmy then receives a telephone call from John, who informs him that Felby had been to the office earlier and knew that Barton had called there because the line was still connected when they found the body. Popoulos is listening in on the conversation and, as Jimmy leaves with Sally, advises him to go away. Later, a man receives a telephone call instructing him to frighten Jimmy into dropping the case. After taking Sally home, Jimmy returns and is attacked by that man, who is laying in wait, but knocked unconscious by Jimmy. The next day, Popoulos barges into John’s office and implores him to make Jimmy drop the case. Meanwhile, Sally is picking up a ring she had repaired at Hartman’s jewelers and is waited on by store clerk Chris Chapman, a young man she noticed at the Green Dragon the night before. After she leaves, Chapman is called into the office for a moment and is dazzled by a diamond tiara that is being placed in the safe. Back at Jimmy’s office, while John tries to convince Jimmy to drop the case, Jimmy lets slip that he and Sally have just become engaged. Because he has the afternoon off, Chapman, who is chronically short of cash, tries to pawn a ring he has taken from the jewelry shop so he can place a bet. While talking with pawnbroker Scobie, Chapman tells him about the expensive tiara at Hartman’s. Later that afternoon, while two deliverymen make an unscheduled stop at Hartman’s, street musicians stroll by Sally’s nearby window playing “Danny Boy.” After she drops a coin down to them, she notices that as soon as the local constable comes into view, the musicians change their tune. When the musicians again begin playing “Danny Boy,” the deliverymen, who are members of the Gelignite Gang, blow up Hartman's safe. Although one of the watchmen, Carter, had been tied up, when the other, Jackson, comes to investigate, he is shot and killed. After Felby learns of the robbery, he summons Hartman’s manager, Woodgate, to the shop. When Woodgate and his assistant inform Felby that their other Saturday staff member, Chapman, had the afternoon off, Felby calls Chapman's home. Chapman’s mother answers the phone and, thinking that the police are investigating her son, lies that he is not there. She then angrily tells Chapman that the police are after him. Although he shrugs off his mother’s concerns, Chapman rushes to Scobie’s and insists on reclaiming the pawned ring. Scobie returns the ring but tells Chapman never to come back. That night, when Jimmy goes to pick up Sally, he finds a note from her saying that she is out “sleuthing.” Meanwhile, Sally follows the street musicians and sees the band suddenly acquire two new members then enter the back of Scobie’s pawnshop. Sally subsequently goes into the front of the shop, pawns a watch and leaves, after which Scobie calls a cohort, Hopman, to follow her. Meanwhile, at Hartman’s, Chapman strongly denies telling anyone about the tiara and deftly sneaks the ring he took earlier back into its drawer. Moments later, Sally arrives back at her flat and excitedly tells Jimmy that she has solved the crime, while at Hartman’s Felby discusses Chapman with Woodgate and speculates that the young man, whom he has seen at the dog races, might need money. Later, at the pawnshop, Scobie pays members of the gang, who complain that their cut is too low. He then calls someone to tell him Sally’s address and asks him to “look after her.” At Sally’s flat, Jimmy calls Felby to tell him that the gang is at Scobie’s, then leaves to meet the police. In the meantime, Chapman goes to the pawnbroker’s and tries to extort money for giving him the tip about the tiara. Instead of giving him money, Scobie shoots and kills Chapman. Just then, John arrives at Sally’s flat and tells her that Jimmy, who had called him to tell him what was going on, has said that she could come with him to see the gang’s capture. Popoulos observes as Sally and John leave and follows them in his car. Back at Scobie's, the police arrive and break into the shop. While some of the gang set fire to the back of the shop and try to flee, and others shoot at the police, Scobie takes the loot from the Hartman’s robbery and escapes onto the roof. Jimmy, who is outside, sees him and follows him to the next building. He confronts Scobie on the stairwell and the two men fight, causing Scobie to fall to his death. Later, at a warehouse, Sally awakens from being drugged. John, who is secretly “Mr. G,” tells her that she can come with him when he leaves England. She turns him down just as Jimmy, who was alerted by Popoulos, arrives with the police. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.