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Noirvember 2018, Episode 28: The Counterfeit Plan (1957)

The Counterfeit Plan (1957)

Directed by Montgomery Tully

Produced by Alec C. Snowden, Richard Gordon

Written by James Eastwood

Cinematography by Phil Grindrod

Amalgamated Producdtions

Distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated (UK), Warner Bros. (U.S.)

(1:24) New to me - Network (UK) DVD

“You’ve come a long way to escape the past, Louie. The past always walks in again.”


Condemned criminal Max Brant (Zachary Scott) eludes police capture and finds his old buddy Louis Bernard (Mervyn Johns), who’s given up counterfeiting in favor of the quiet life of the English countryside. Louis has no interest in going back to work (especially for Max), but Max can be quite persuasive. (I love that a black cat walks behind them during this discussion.)

Louis reluctantly begins work with Max and his partners and all goes well until the unexpected arrival of Louis’s daughter Carole (Peggie Castle), who knows nothing of her father’s former life. Her arrival also forces the gang to forget about counterfeiting for awhile…

Despite an overly dramatic musical score, much of The Counterfeit Plan often works quite well, especially as Max works out the intricate details of making and distributing 5-pound notes around the entirety of the UK. It’s quite an undertaking and the details are often fascinating, but at some point the film becomes a bit routine, perhaps even tiresome.

From what I’ve read, this is not Montgomery Tully’s best work, but even so, it’s worth a look. Note that while I saw the film on a Network (UK) DVD, it’s also available on DVD from Warner Archive, but the Warner version runs about four minutes shorter than the Network release.

Next time: one final Brit noir title with an American novelist falling under the spell of a British femme fatale

Photos: DVD Beaver, Classic Movie Ramblings

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