Piccadilly Third Stop (1960) starring Terence Morgan, Yôko Tani, John Crawford, Mai Zetterling, William Hartnell, Dennis Price directed by Wolf Rilla Movie Review

Piccadilly Third Stop (1960)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Terence Morgan and Dennis Price in Piccadilly Third Stop (1960)

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Tired of the small time cons and robberies Dominic Colpoys-Owen (Terence Morgan) decides to aim higher when he meets Fina (Yoko Tani) an ambassador's daughter who he flirts with to learn that her father keeps £100,000 in a safe in the embassy. Knowing that not only will he need funds but also some help to pull off the robbery he ropes in American Preedy (John Crawford) who has his wife's out of control spending to deal with as well as Colonel Whitfield (William Hartnell) and friend Toddy (Charles Kay). The plan is to use an unused tunnel off of the Piccadilly line to sneak in under the foreign embassy, through the basement and to the safe. The trouble is that whilst the gang set about the heist Toddy ends up caught and is under intense pressure at a police station close by to squeal.

"Piccadilly Third Stop" is one of those 1960s thrillers which when watched now comes across as a movie going through the motions with a storyline which doesn't deviate from the path set out by other movies and with characters which are little more than stereotypes. As such whilst "Piccadilly Third Stop" might have entertained audiences who went to the flicks on a rainy Friday night back in 1960 it now appears unremarkable with just a few familiar faces making it of interest to today's movie fans.

The thing is that as I said "Piccadilly Third Stop" doesn't stray from that well worn path which other heist movies of the era had trodden. As such we are introduced to Dominic, the dashing thief who flirts with women to get what he wants, treats the one woman who hangs around badly and is in a hurry to become rich, tired of working cons for others. It is so familiar that once he decides to rob the safe at the embassy you can already predict that not only will things not go to plan but a happy ever after ending is seriously doubtful, that 60s morality of bad guys getting their comeuppance coming in to play.

The trouble is though that it is simply not exciting and any movie which uses such a routine storyline needs to deliver some excitement to make it stand out. It is a case that it fails for at least the majority of the movie to find atmosphere and so what we get are the characters going through the motions, playing their parts in a routine way as they plot, plan, argue and in the case of Dominic flirt. That sense of being routine also extends to Wolf Rilla's direction with several scenes which could have been very stylish ending up dull because he doesn't make the most of the dark spaces and shadows which are there on a plate to be used.

But here is the thing, as a heist movie I like the storyline to "Piccadilly Third Stop" and can see the potential for it being an entertaining thriller. It is the sort of movie which should be remade now with the storyline reworked to be snappier and better paced as unfortunately whilst "Piccadilly Third Stop" ticks over it doesn't tick over quickly enough.

What this all boils down to is that "Piccadilly Third Stop" is just a routine and sadly forgettable British heist movie from 1960. The actual heist idea using an underground tunnel is good but the production as a whole lacks style and energy to make it come alive and stand out from the crowd rather than fading in to obscurity which this has.