The Hot Rock (1972)

GP | 101, 105 or 110 mins | Comedy | January 1972

Director:

Peter Yates

Writer:

William Goldman

Cinematographer:

Ed Brown

Production Designer:

John Robert Lloyd

Production Company:

Landers-Roberts, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The Hot Rock was filmed on location in New York City. Filmfacts indicated that the film had a five milion dollar budget. During the sequence in which the four thieves fly a helicopter through downtown Manhattan, the then partially constructed World Trade Center is visible. The building, completed in 1973, was destroyed in Sep 2001. The Hot Rock was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film ... More Less

The Hot Rock was filmed on location in New York City. Filmfacts indicated that the film had a five milion dollar budget. During the sequence in which the four thieves fly a helicopter through downtown Manhattan, the then partially constructed World Trade Center is visible. The building, completed in 1973, was destroyed in Sep 2001. The Hot Rock was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film Editing. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1971.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1971.
---
Daily Variety
13 Aug 1971.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1972
p. 3, 14.
Filmfacts
1972
pp. 34-37.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1970.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 1971
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 1971
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1971
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 1972.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Feb 1972
Section IV, p. 12.
New York Times
27 Jan 1972
p. 42.
Variety
26 Jan 1972
p. 16.
Variety
26 Apr 1972.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Hal Landers-Bobby Roberts Production
A Hal Landers-Bobby Roberts Production; A Peter Yates Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod exec
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Stills
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward
MUSIC
Sd track musician
Baritone sax
Sd track musician
Trumpet
Sd track musician
Trombone
Sd track musician
Sax
Sd track musician
Drums
Sd track musician
Bass
Sd track musician
Fender bass
Sd track musician
Fender bass
Sd track musician
Congas/Bongos
Sd track musician
Percussion
Sd track musician
Sd track musician
Sd track musician
Sd track musician
Sd track musician
Sd track musician
Sd track musician
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec mech eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec prod supv
Unit prod mgr
Casting
Helicopter pilot
Unit pub
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake (New York, 1970).
SONGS
"When You Believe," music and lyrics by Bill Rinehart, sung by Táta
"Listen to the Melody," music by Quincy Jones, lyrics by Tay Lihler and Bill Rinehart.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
January 1972
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 26 January 1972
Los Angeles opening: 9 February 1972
Production Date:
24 May--late August 1971 in New York City
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
9 February 1972
Copyright Number:
LP41019
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
DeLuxe
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
101, 105 or 110
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Just outside of New York City, career criminal John Dortmunder is released from prison and met by his brother-in-law, lock expert Andrew Kelp who excitedly confides the details of a new “job.” Despite John’s insistence that he will never work with Andrew again, he accompanies him to the Brooklyn Museum where they peer at an enormous diamond on display behind a special glass security case. Walking in a park later, John again refuses Andrew’s proposal that they steal the stone until Andrew introduces him to Dr. Amusa, the United Nations representative of a small African country. Amusa explains that the diamond, known as the Sahara stone, originally belonged to his country which has long hoped for its return. John, who enjoys the challenge provided by criminal high jinks, reconsiders, then declares the job will require four men and demands $25,000 per member of the team. Amusa agrees to the terms, but refuses to negotiate additional daily expenses, requesting instead that the thieves make a direct request as specific needs arise. Later, John meets car expert Stan Murch at a bar, where Andrew introduces them to explosives expert Alan Greenberg. Despite Amusa’s impatience to obtain the stone quickly, John insists on time to work out his plan and then orders four guard uniforms. Later at a deserted river in the country, John has Alan demonstrate numerous explosions, insisting on the biggest and loudest possible. One evening, Alan and Stan kidnap and tie up the museum’s outdoor guard, then Stan crashes a stolen car near the museum’s entrance, setting off a tremendous explosion that brings all of the ... +


Just outside of New York City, career criminal John Dortmunder is released from prison and met by his brother-in-law, lock expert Andrew Kelp who excitedly confides the details of a new “job.” Despite John’s insistence that he will never work with Andrew again, he accompanies him to the Brooklyn Museum where they peer at an enormous diamond on display behind a special glass security case. Walking in a park later, John again refuses Andrew’s proposal that they steal the stone until Andrew introduces him to Dr. Amusa, the United Nations representative of a small African country. Amusa explains that the diamond, known as the Sahara stone, originally belonged to his country which has long hoped for its return. John, who enjoys the challenge provided by criminal high jinks, reconsiders, then declares the job will require four men and demands $25,000 per member of the team. Amusa agrees to the terms, but refuses to negotiate additional daily expenses, requesting instead that the thieves make a direct request as specific needs arise. Later, John meets car expert Stan Murch at a bar, where Andrew introduces them to explosives expert Alan Greenberg. Despite Amusa’s impatience to obtain the stone quickly, John insists on time to work out his plan and then orders four guard uniforms. Later at a deserted river in the country, John has Alan demonstrate numerous explosions, insisting on the biggest and loudest possible. One evening, Alan and Stan kidnap and tie up the museum’s outdoor guard, then Stan crashes a stolen car near the museum’s entrance, setting off a tremendous explosion that brings all of the guards outside. Feigning grave injuries, Stan screams for help while the guards struggle to comfort him. Alan, dressed as a doctor, arrives and insists that all the guards assist him in stabilizing the groaning Stan. When an ambulance appears, Alan slips away and joins John and Andrew, who, disguised as guards, have already broken into the museum. Although nervous, Andrew manages to pick the locks on the glass case but the men are delayed as they struggle to lift the heavy case. When the returning guards interrupt the heist, John and Andrew escape, while a cornered Alan is forced to swallow the stone. The next day, Andrew is delighted that the crime has made the front page headlines and laughs at the description of Stan overpowering the ambulance attendants and escaping, until John tersely reminds him that Alan is in jail and they do not have the stone. After his doctor tells John that he could develop an ulcer due to high stress levels, John reluctantly meets with Andrew, Amusa and Alan’s lawyer and father, Abe Greenberg. Abe informs them that Alan has the diamond and will negotiate directly with Amusa unless the others break him out of jail. John demands a “very large” truck from Amusa, who agrees to provide the vehicle. The next night, using information passed on by Abe, Alan attacks his cellmate in order to be moved closer to the infirmary. That evening, John and Andrew cut the prison chain link fence and climb a security wall and Alan easily unlocks a rooftop door to the jail near the infirmary. After overcoming the guards, John and Andrew break into Alan’s cell and hustle him away, but the men are slowed by Alan’s struggles climbing the rope. As the men sprint toward the opening in the fence, the alarm sounds and tower guards fire at them. Stan roars up in a bullet-proof Mercedes and the group make a wild escape driving to a nearby truck stop. There, they pull into an enormous semi where they wait until dawn before making a clean escape. Upon meeting with Amusa the next day, the others are all startled by Alan’s confession that when he feared the police would confiscate the diamond, he hid it at the station before being transferred to jail. Realizing they must now break into the police station, a frustrated John nevertheless devises a plan and requests a helicopter from Amusa. Although uncertain of Stan’s professed piloting abilities, the others join him on the chopper a day later, again wearing guard’s uniforms. After some fumbling, Stan manages to take off and the men fly through Manhattan where they initially land on the wrong roof before arriving atop the Ninth Precinct building. After cutting the phone wires and jamming the short wave signal, the men use smoke bombs and tear gas to sow confusion inside the precinct, but when they get to the place where Alan hid the stone, they discover that it is gone. After fleeing the station, a discouraged Stan declares he wants out of the deal, but John admits he has grown obsessed with getting the diamond. Perplexed about not finding the stone, Alan reflects out loud that the only one who knew of the diamond’s hiding place was Abe, and the others realize Abe has double-crossed his son. John then arranges to meet Abe at an abandoned warehouse where they pretend to torture Alan to force Abe to admit stealing the stone. Initially Abe scoffs at them, but when Alan is apparently tossed down an elevator shaft, Abe grows fearful and eventually provides John the key to his bank safety deposit box. At the bank later, however, John quickly realizes that the security measures will not admit anyone but the box holder to the secured area. Furious, but determined, John meets with Amusa, who expresses his disgust with the thieves’ failure and announces his plans to negotiate directly with Abe. John, who retains the box key, promises to meet them at the bank, then hastily arranges with a former associate, hypnosis specialist Miasmo, to hypnotize the bank security manager. As Abe and Amusa head toward the bank, John arrives first and asks to see his security box. Once in the secured area, he triggers the manager’s hypnotized command and accesses Abe’s security box, where he finds the Sahara stone. Pocketing the stone, John leaves the bank just as Abe and Amusa arrive. Joining his partners blocks away, John and the others drive happily through the streets of New York. +

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

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