There has been a rash of well-executed safe robberies and Scotland Yard is being made to look like fools. They are having no luck tracking down the take or who is in charge. Harry Andrews, the Police Inspector in command of the Yard effort, decides that they are going to change the way they investigate. No more using informers or word from the street. He wants wire taps and a cop on every corner.
Long time Detective Nigel Patrick continues to use his string of informants. The robberies seem very well planned and all go off like clockwork. Patrick has his sights set on local bottom feeder thug, Derren Nesbitt. Nesbitt is moving up in the world of late, he has a new Bentley, new clothes, a fancy apartment and is flashing around a large roll of cash.
After a 300,000 pound robbery, one of Patrick's "snouts", (John Cowley) calls his house with some info on the gangs hid-out. Patrick is not home but his wife takes the information. Cowley is then grabbed up by the gang and taken for a ride. Derrin Nesbitt, who does the wet work for the gang drops in for a question and answer session with Cowley. Cowley is then disposed of by Nesbitt who drives back and forth over him with a car a couple of dozen times.
Nesbitt goes to his boss, Frank Finlay, with the information he has extracted from Cowley, including the call to Patrick's wife. Finlay, the brains behind the whole robbery group is an ex Commando. He plans all the robberies like military operations. Things have been going sweet and now this cop Patrick is becoming an annoyance. Finlay sets a plan in motion to remove said annoyance. He sets up a hidden camera at a brothel and has one of the girls, Margaret Whiting, call Patrick. She is to tell him she has some info on the last robbery. At the same time Finlay has 500 pounds from that same robbery hidden in Patrick's attic.
Patrick shows to talk to Whiting. Whiting hands Patrick a wad of cash and says it was from the robbery. Patrick knows it is a set up and throws the money back and leaves. Next day Patrick is called into Inspector Andrews office. Laying on the desk of course is a pile of pictures of Patrick with the cash in his hand. "These came in the mail, can you explain them?" Asks Andrews. Patrick says it is a frame job but is suspended.
The Police then escort Patrick home and search his house. Needless to say they discover the planted cash. Cuffs are produced and off to jail he goes. Patrick's wife, Catherine Woodville, manages to raise the bail and get Patrick released. The now "upset" Patrick throws aside the rules and goes after the mob. He contacts the dead informant's brother, Colin Blakely. He tells him that he knows who the killers are. Blakely, a crook himself, soon grabs up the tart Whiting.
He threatens to kill her 6 year old son if she does not come clean on everything she knows. She folds like a house of cards. Blakely rounds up his own mob and heads off to deal with Nesbitt and Finlay. Pipes, hammers, knives and guns are used before the mess is settled and all the nasty types rounded up or dead. Far more violent than one would expect from a UK film. I quite enjoyed it.
Roy Kinnear , Peter Prowse and Micheal Coles play junior members of the mob. Patrick was in UNEASY TERMS, THE NOOSE, SAPPHIRE, SILENT DUST, A PRIZE OF GOLD, FORBIDDEN CARGO. Derren Nesbitt was in STRONGROOM and THE MAN IN THE BACKSEAT.
The director was Ken Annakin who did DOUBLE CONFESSION and ACROSS THE BRIDGE. He also made the Disney film, THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. The D of P was Reginald Wyer. Wyer's films include STREET CORNER, MAN IN THE BACK SEAT, ACROSS THE BRIDGE, WHEEL OF FATE, THE WEAPON, HOME TO DANGER, DAYBREAK, SO LONG AT THE FAIR, DANCING WITH CRIME, THE UPTURNED GLASS.
Well worth catching if you can find it.