Calculated Risk (film)

Calculated Risk is a 1963 British crime thriller film directed by Norman Harrison.[2]

Calculated Risk
Calculated Risk (1963 film).jpg
British quad poster
Directed byNorman Harrison
Produced byWilliam McLeod
Screenplay byEdwin Richfield
Music byGeorge Martin
CinematographyWilliam McLeod
Edited byJohn Trumper
McLeod Productions
Distributed byBryanston Films (UK)
Release date
  • 1963 (1963) (UK)
Running time
72 min
CountryUnited Kingdom


Bank robber Kip is released from prison. Despite grieving for the recent death of his wife, Lil, whose funeral he never attended whilst inside, he plans a bank robbery; a renowned criminal had told him how to accomplish the robbery from his adjacent deathbed, whilst they'd both been in the prison hospital.

A gang of men is recruited to execute the robbery by Steve, Kip's brother-in-law, who drove him home upon his release, and who, because of his planning expertise, has assumed the leadership. They plan to rob a bank by tunnelling through a basement of a bomb-site next door.[3]Steve has planned crimes before, but never participated; but he's compelled to take Kip's place, after Kip collapses because of his weak heart.

The crooks enter the basement of an empty building next to the Westland Bank through a trap door, and break through the wall dividing the properties, but are shocked when they find an unexploded 500lb bomb from the war.

Repelled by the sight of a squeeking rat, Steve throws something at it to frighten it away. They plant explosives into the rear wall of the bank vault. Just after breaking in, Steve hears the bomb ticking, but tells no one. The object, thrown at the rat, inadvertently also knocked the shell's casing. As they escape, a concrete lintel falls on Steve; (Kip, impatient and alone at home, with no one to control him, had earlier gone against the plan, and went to see how they were progressing). The other two run away upon hearing the ticking bomb; one to forewarn his girlfriend living in a nearby house, who calls the police. Though Kip is always scorned by the other gang members for being a jinx, as he's almost always been caught before, nonetheless, he's the only one who trys to rescue Steve.

Desperate to end his life of poverty, Kip alone stays, and retrieves the sacks of money; but his efforts to lift the beam bring on a fatal heart attack. Just as the internally-injured Steve reaches the trap door, he stumbles on the loose bricks, and falls back down, exhausted. The old bomb explodes. The council workmen, who were due in a few weeks to begin clearing the site in preparation for the building of a neighbourhood swimming pool, shall now be able to do so safely.


Critical receptionEdit

TV Guide concluded "British crime melodrama has little going for it";[4] Radio Times praised Warren Mitchell's cameo, but called the film a "tatty little drama";[3] whereas Mystery File wrote "The script is tight, the vivid black-and-white photography perfect for the tale that’s told, and even though none of the actors are sic [is] known in this country – and maybe not even in England – they all fit their characters well, and what more could you want?"[5]


  1. ^ Petrie, Duncan James (2017). "Bryanston Films : An Experiment in Cooperative Independent Production and Distribution" (PDF). Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: 7. ISSN 1465-3451.
  2. ^ "Calculated Risk". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2017-10-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b "Calculated Risk – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times.
  4. ^ "Calculated Risk | TV Guide".
  5. ^ "» Movie Review: CALCULATED RISK (1963)".

External linksEdit

Calculated Risk at IMDb