I’m continuing my look at the recently released Hammer films on Blu-ray with the latest boxset from Powerhouse Films. The film I’m reviewing here is the 1961 thriller Cash on Demand. Powerhouse Films have become my favourite film label recently having built up a fabulous reputation for releasing high quality versions on Blu-ray, I expect that to be the case here. So without further ado here’s my Cash on Demand Blu-ray Review.
- Cash on Demand (1961)
- Genre: Thriller
- Running Time: 81 Mins
- UK Rating PG
- Discs: 1
- Released By Powerhouse Films aka Indicator
- Blu-ray Released: 19th February 2018
As most of the banks staff prepares for Christmas and their upcoming party the disagreeable and pompous bank manager Mr Fordyce is far more concerned with the general running of his beloved bank. Unfortunately for Mr Fordyce he is about to meet Colonel Gore-Hepburn whom will not only take something from him but more importantly impart an invaluable life lesson.
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Quentin Lawrence with the cinematography handled by Arthur Grant and is filmed in black and white. Filmed almost entirely inside the bank with just a few external scenes at the front of the snowy bank front, the film is tightly shot providing plenty of tense moments.
In fact keeping the scope of the film small really works to the films advantage as it places more emphasis on the excellent story / screenplay along with some tremendous acting performances.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Wilfred Josephs and is very much Christmas themed intertwined with an element of tension in a similar way to which the 1951 Alastair Sim film Scrooge does only less dramatic but still works beautifully.
Acting / Characters
First off all the entire cast put in exceptional performances which really elevates this so called B film up to greatness. It’s a Hammer film so of course Peter Cushing is in it but this performance is like no other Cushing performance you are likely to have seen. Usually even when he plays a bad character such as Baron Victor Frankenstein the viewer is still somewhat sympathetic towards him. That’s certainly not the case in Cash On Demand in which he plays a nasty Bank manager with more in common with a certain Ebenezer Scrooge.
Quite simply this is one of Peter Cushing’s best performances and it’s just happens to be in one of the lesser known films.
André Morell takes on the role of Colonel Gore-Hepburn a man claiming to be from the Banks insurance company who arrives to check on the banks security procedures. Morell plays his role to perfection with somewhat of a swagger and warmth against Cushing’s cold and uncaring demeanour.
The two play off each other perfectly which should come as no real surprise for anyone who has seen them play Holmes and Watson in the Hammer film The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959).
The Other main character is Pearson, Mr Fordyce’s second in command who is played by Richard Vernon. Again he brings his A game to proceedings especially with his interactions with Bank manager Fordyce.
Fordyce doesn’t like him in fact he would be glad if he could be rid of Pearson and that tense and uncomfortable relationship is at the heart of the film and will become far more significant at the end of the story.
- Peter Cushing as Harry Fordyce
- André Morell as Colonel Gore-Hepburn
- Richard Vernon as Pearson
- Norman Bird as Sanderson
- Kevin Stoney as Detective Inspector Mason
- Barry Lowe as Harvill
- Edith Sharpe as Miss Pringle
- Lois Daine as Sally
- Alan Haywood as Kane
- Vera Cook as Mrs. Fordyce
- Charles Morgan as Detective Sergeant Collins
Conclusion – Cash on Demand Film Review
I really can’t believe that I had never seen this little known Hammer film before this Blu-ray release. It’s set at Christmas and is essentially a slightly different take on Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. Cash On Demand is a wonderful film, it may have been a B movie but that really is doing it a massive disservice as I consider it to be a Hammer masterpiece and a film that needs to be seen by more people.
The setting at a small town bank in England at Christmas is perfect, the story is extremely well written with some excellent dialogue and the acting is simply superb.
Make no mistake Cash On Demand is a little gem of a picture and without any shadow of a doubt is a must see film that should be added to everyone’s Christmas film list. I for one will be watching it this Christmas alongside the other greats such Scrooge (1951), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and The Bishop’s Wife (1947).
Cash On Demand comes as part as four film boxset that also includes Never Take Sweets from a Stranger, The Snorkel & The Full Treatment which I will be reviewing shortly.
If you like my Cash on Demand Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- How Many Hammer Films Have You Seen?
- Hammer Volume One Fear Warning Boxset Review
- Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)
- Demons of the Mind (1972)
- Fear in the Night (1972)
- Wolf (1994)
Cash on Demand Blu-ray Review
The picture quality on this new version of Cash on Demand (1961) is simply superb, the picture is clean and sharp and with the improved resolution all go to making this a flawless remaster. One thing I would recommend is to start off watching the “Extended US Version” as the UK version has been massacred down from 81 mins to 67 mins which removes some key scenes and dialogue.
On the extras front there is another excellent set of interviews with the must see feature being The Perfect Crime: Inside “Cash On Demand” that provides plenty background along with many interesting facts about the making of the film from people such as Jonathan Rigby and John J Johnston and BFI curator Josephine Botting.
Once again Powerhouse Films delivers the perfect release not just for Hammer film fans but any lover of classic cinema.
- Alternative UK Theatrical Cut (67)
- The Perfect Crime: Inside “Cash On Demand (2018) (19 mins)
- Hammer’s Women: Lois Daine (2018) (10 mins)
- Lois Daine on “Cash On Demand” (8 mins)
- Original Trailer
- Image Gallery
- Limited Edtion 36 page booklet
- Reversible Sleeve
On to my movie rating for Cash on Demand (1961)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Cash on Demand (1961) is available now on Blu-ray.
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
So that’s my Cash on Demand Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Cash on Demand Blu-ray Review (1961)
Director(s): Quentin Lawrence
Actor(s): Peter Cushing, André Morell, Norman Bird, Kevin Stoney, Edith Sharpe, Barry Lowe, Lois Daine
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Cash On Demand is a gem of a picture and is a must see film that should be added to everyone’s Christmas film list.