Thursday, September 23, 2021

A Nice Little Bank that Should Be Robbed

The latest new-to-me movie that started showing up in the FXM rotation recently is A Nice Little Bank that Should Be Robbed. It's going to be on FXM again tomorrow, Sept. 24, at 9:45 AM; as always, with that in mind I made it a point to watch the movie and blog about it now.

Tom Ewell plays Max Rutgers, who runs an auto body shop that doesn't seem to get much business, as he seems to spend more time with his best friend Gus (Mickey Rooney), who is studying for his license to become a race-horse trainer. Unfortunately, Gus always seems to get incredibly nervous when he has to face the actual examiners, he consistently fails the examination. Meanwhile, Max has a long-suffering girlfriend in Margie (Dina Merrill) who would marry Max if only he had the money.

One day, Gus hears a story on the radio about a bank robbery, and comes up with the idiotic idea that he and Max can solve their financial problems if only the two of them rob a bank together! And he's even come up with a plan on how to do it! For whatever bizarre reason, Max decides to go along with this, even though in his mind he's planning to return the money after he can get enough back to repay what he's taken.

Amazingly, the robbery goes off without a hitch, which is something unusual in a heist movie. Of course, there's going to be problems later, thank you Production Code. Gus' plans for the money involve buying a race-horse and running it to win a bunch of prize money; with Max's share of the prize money, he can pay back the bank and have enough left over to get married to Margie. Or at least, that's the plan.

Gus and Max have to go to another state where Gus doesn't need a trainer's license, and there they run the horse. But in the meantime, their mutual friend, taxi driver Rocky (Mickey Shaughnessy) found the money bag that Gus and Max got the bank robbery money in and were too damn stupid to destroy. Rocky is unsurprisingly able to put two and two together, and wants in on his friends' money making scheme.

They'd all live happily ever after if only the scheme works. And it might at that, with their horse winning the first race it's entered in. That is, until the stewards have an inquiry and determine that the horse crowded others out in a way that contravenes the rules, thereby disqualifying the horse. Now Gus and Max are out a bunch more money.

As you might be able to guess, Gus comes up with a daft plan to rob another bank, this time in a different way from the first one, since if they robbed the second bank in the same manner, the police would be able to find them much more easily. Unfortunately, Gus isn't smart enough to realize that the bank vault is on a timer and that the bank manager can't just open it up before hours.

I mentioned that A Nice Little Bank that Should Be Robbed was a new-to-me movie. There's a reason I'd never heard about it before, which is that it's not very good. It looks as though it was done on the cheap, and the attempts at humor fall relatively flat. There's also the predictable plot holes involving incompetent crooks and what they expect reality to be.

Still, watch for yourself, as some people might enjoy this one more than I did.

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