Alec Guinness’s first Oscar nomination was for his role as baby-faced bank employee Henry Holland, who hatches a plan to steal the gold bullion he is supposed to protect and smuggle it to France right under the authorities’ noses. Guinness makes Holland at once so dull he is believably beyond suspicion, and at the same time very entertaining to watch, his eyes frequently aglint with wicked scheming. The actor expertly mixes comedy with suspense, whether enlisting accomplices in the crime or showing mounting bodily impatience when endless red tape at a French dock keeps preventing the thieves from boarding a ferry.

Find out more about the film from Turner Classic Movies.

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Charles Crichton
Running Time
78 minutes
Digital, B/W