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$
$ (1971)
Movie
  • Director:
    Richard Brooks
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Richard Brooks
  • Cast:
    Warren Beatty,Goldie Hawn,Gert Fröbe
  • Time:
    2h 1min
  • Year:
    1971
Several criminals use safe deposit boxes in a German bank to store large amounts of illicit cash. An employee of the bank learns who they are by means of a prostitute they all patronize, and devises a clever plan with her to steal the money. Now the criminals can't go to the police, but they can try to steal the money back...
Casts
Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Beatty Warren Beatty - Joe Collins
Goldie Hawn Goldie Hawn - Dawn Divine
Gert Fröbe Gert Fröbe - Mr. Kessel
Robert Webber Robert Webber - Attorney
Scott Brady Scott Brady - Sarge
Arthur Brauss Arthur Brauss - Candy Man
Robert Stiles Robert Stiles - Major
Wolfgang Kieling Wolfgang Kieling - Granich
Bob Herron Bob Herron - Bodyguard (as Robert Herron)
Christiane Maybach Christiane Maybach - Helga
Hans Hutter Hans Hutter - Karl
Monica Stender Monica Stender - Berta
Horst Hesslein Horst Hesslein - Bruno
Wolfgang Kuhlman Wolfgang Kuhlman - Furcoat
Klaus Schichan Klaus Schichan - Knifeman (as Klaus Tschichan)

$ (1971)

Actress Goldie Hawn has said of this movie: "It smelled like a hit. Warren [Beatty] and I in Germany, plotting a robbery from a bank, with me as a hooker. Richard Brooks directing. But it didn't work". Moreover, Hawn has also said of her characterization in this film: "It was a total bust," she said. "I didn't like my character or what I did with her. It was a totally unthought out, unconscious performance. I can't even look at the picture".

Gert Fröbe appears in this movie in a minor role as a bank manager. It is also one of his very few English-language roles without voice-over dubbing for his own voice. His character and casting is designed to connect with his screen persona from the James Bond film Auksapirštis (1964). As Auric Goldfinger in that movie, he was a villain who loved gold, had it as part of his personal artifacts and his scheme was to rob it from Fort Knox. In this movie, as Mr. Kessel, he is seen handling gold bars and his bank is the film's equivalent to Fort Knox.

This movie is one of few films where its title is represented by one only character i.e. $ [$ (1971)].

Star Goldie Hawn has admitted she's never seen this movie all the way through. Perhaps too busy working at the time to attend its premiere, she finally caught up with $ (1971) when it played on television. But she says it exhausted her patience and she shut it off at the half-way mark.

"The Candy Man" is an obvious reference to the notorious and then-currently-infamous young-boy-sodomist-and-murderer Dean Corll, whose practice of handing out sweets to teenage boys and children to gain their trust gave him this morbidly-charming nickname.

This movie was the third film for Goldie Hawn since her meteoric motion picture rise. Her first was Cactus Flower (1969), her second was the highly successful There's a Girl in My Soup (1970), with Peter Sellers, and Hawn was at the time this film was being made and released, scheduled to star in the film version of the Broadway hit comedy, Butterflies Are Free (1972), which became her next movie.

The film's $ (1971) title is pronounced "Dollars" which was the film's subtitle in parentheses on American movie posters. The picture is also known in some territories as "The Heist".

The most important set was located in the Kunsthalle, the popular art museum, situated in the heart of Hamburg. The museum's directors agreed to close a portion of the museum which was an ideal place to build a bank set director Richard Brooks required for a four week period. The construction and filming had to be accomplished without interrupting the flow of visitors to the art and sculpture displays, and was accomplished when a portion of the hall was partitioned and closed off from the main entrance. Under the careful guardianship of art director and scenic designer Guy Sheppard, a "bank" was built so real in appearance, that employees of the Dresdner Bank and the American Express Bank across the street delighted in visiting it, and talking about it. In addition to the set, the Kunsthalle Museum furnished offices for the company, as well as dressing rooms, wardrobe quarters, film storage, and a special editing room, where Brooks could view the company's day-to-day efforts on a screen larger than the usual movie.

Goldie Hawn arrived in Hamburg with her husband, Gus Trikonis, and her dog, Lamb Chop, several days before the start of filming. Hawn had taken a crash course in German at Berlitz and captivated Hamburg residents with her ability to express herself in their tongue. Miss Hawn, Academy Award winner with her debut performance in Cactus Flower (1969), also produced by this film's producer M.J. Frankovich, was able to order her meals and do her shopping in the leading stores and to converse with hotel employees and reporters in German.

Writer-director Richard Brooks first started writing the $ (1971) script in early 1970, after long periods of research into many facets of the story. Brooks was a stickler for facts and they had to be accurate. He knew from the beginning that the film could only be made in a European city, so with his capable assistant Tom Shaw, took off for a location recce inspection of foreign cities. They traveled to Vienna in Austria, Brussels in Belgium, Copenhagen in Denmark, and Hamburg in then West Germany. Finally. it was decided Hamburg had more to offer, scenically, as well as the colorful background needed for the colorful telling of a colorful story.

Goldie Hawn has said of her co-star Warren Beatty: We did become fast friends on that film. I looked upon him as a crazy older brother. I think we got along so well because our characters are alike in . . . oh, so many ways. But the big reason why we got along so well was that Warren was the first man who told me I was really smart. I was twenty-six, and I had never heard that before. Warren telling me that gave me a lot of confidence".

Reportedly, actors Goldie Hawn and Warren Beatty allegedly had a brief personal relationship around the time that this movie was made and released.

Gus Trikonis, Goldie Hawn's then husband, was engaged to create a film highlighting the film's shooting in Hamburg, as well as personalized stories involving the actors and the director.

Warren Beatty was a late arrival, delayed by a previous commitment in Vancouver, Canada, where he had completed a Robert Altman film with Julie Christie. Beatty came to Hamburg from London, and the first order of business was the shearing of the beard he had grown for his role in this movie, McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971). Beatty also lost a mustache to the razor and he needed a new and shorter hairstyling. Ironically, both Christie and Beatty's co-star in $ (1971), Goldie Hawn, would all three later star in Shampoo (1975), a film related to hair and hairstyling.

The Hamburg, Germany wharves, warehouses on the docks, railroad station, churches, the Atlantic Hotel, the streets, the police radio and television rooms, the airport and other points of interest serve as locations and backgrounds for the film.

The movie features the Reeperbahn district of Hamburg, the latter of which was the third largest seaport in Europe, surpassed only by Rotterdam and London. It was famous for Europe s most wicked section, the Reeperbahn, where the nightlife begins in the morning at the cabarets, peep shows, dance halls, and movies that the motion picture code would rate XXX, if such a rating had existed at the time in its rules. Strippers is a mild description for performers who virtually are nude when they make their initial appearance. A special street, where no women visitors are permitted, was blocked off for prostitutes, who parade their wares for inspecting, prospective clients or merely for male "window" shoppers. Director Richard Brooks spent a week in this section of the city, filming inside and outside the Salambo cabaret, the most popular night spot on the Reeperbahn.

Producer M.J. Frankovich made the Kunsthalle museum's directors very happy when he presented them with two paintings, one "Hollywood Gardener" by David Hackney, an Englishman who made impressions of a visit to Los Angeles in 1966. The other, a sculptural object by Robert Graham, born in Mexico City and living in Los Angeles and London, was a typical example of art on the West Coast of the time. Graham visited the Kunsthalie shortly before the $ (1971) production began.

Andrea Passafiume at the TCMDb Turner Classics Movie website states: "During the course of filming, Warren Beatty suffered a serious injury during a particular scene involving a train. According to Peter Biskind [in his book 'Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America' (2010)], Beatty was nearly killed when he slipped from the train and fell onto the tracks below, leaving barely enough time to move out of the way of an oncoming freight train. Beatty's ankle was badly hurt as a result of the accident, and his recovery delayed the production two full days".

Horst Hesslein, the technical advisor, spent a number of years working for some of the Hamburg night spots and he knew almost every character in the Reeperbahn district. His home was actually in Hamburg.

According to the biography 'Pure Goldie: The Life and Career of Goldie Hawn' (1998) by 'Marc Shapiro', Goldie Hawn said of this film: "I thought it was going to be a big picture. It smelled like a hit". Hawn was very keen that the movie project of this picture would give her the chance to visit the European country of West Germany.

One of three cinema movie collaborations of actress Goldie Hawn and actor Warren Beatty. The films are $ (1971), Shampoo (1975), and Žmonos ir meilužes (2001).

Technical arrangements were made through Benderstorf Studios and further assistance was rendered by Darrell Armstrong, a graduate of the University of California, Berkley, with a law degree, who made his permanent home in Hamburg in Germany.

The major technicians were brought over from America and blended nicely with their German counterparts.

First of two consecutive back-to-back motion pictures where star Warren Beatty portrayed a character called "Joe" as this would be the nick-name of Beatty's Joseph Frady character in his then next movie The Parallax View (1974).

Androrim
Androrim
I like heist movies. This one is a bit different.

I liked the style of the movie a lot. The music and the camera work were pretty interesting.

I noticed some reviewers were confused by the plot. It's the viewers job to fill in some blanks. Some people will dislike that, others will appreciate that their intelligence is not being insulted.

The movie consists of three main sections. The intro, the heist and the getaway. Goldie Hawn is adorable in the intro section. Beatty does a nice job during the heist section. The getaway is the weak part of the movie, if only because it challenges my ability to suspend my disbelief. Some parts of it were cool though.

I think Beatty was convincing both as a security expert and thief. Hawn, as mentioned above is adorable (I admit I have always found her attractive.) Reasons to watch the movie - you like Beatty, you like Hawn, you like heist movies (though there are better,) or you like quirky 70s movies. The last item should not be overlooked, because there's a distinctive style in certain 70s movies that's no longer seen - for example the implication that sex and drugs and alcohol is simply a lifestyle, rather than a problem that needs to be addressed.
MrRipper
MrRipper
American banking engineer, orchestrating the opening of a high-tech new bank in Germany, conspires to rip-off a gang of crooks and low-lifes who keep their loot in private boxes at the branch. There is quite a long set-up to the protracted chase in this film; luckily it involves a daffy, wonderful Goldie Hawn as a hooker/accomplice to thief Warren Beatty. Hawn is a living, breathing cliffhanger, you never know what she's going to do next. In the middle of the hysteria, there's a beautifully modulated moment where she tells Beatty about a screen-test she did for the movies ("First take, nothing. Second take, I dunno know...tears. Third take, I forgot my own name. And I made it up myself!"). The chase takes up about two entire reels, and it's been edited with hairbreadth timing. I also loved what first appeared to be a twist ending: someone dupes someone else, and then in turn gets duped. It would've been an awesome climax, but there's a weird tag at the very end of the picture (ostensibly to wrap it up with a bow) which is sort of a letdown. It seems to involve none of the participants--only their props!--which leads me to believe this was a post-production/last minute decision. Still, "$" (pronounced "Dollars") is funny, smart, and filmed in a cool, jazzy style that is no longer fashionable but certainly memorable. ***1/2 from ****
Folsa
Folsa
A two-hour bank heist flick with the final 20 minutes featuring one of the longest chase scenes I've ever seen on film. In fact, Warren Beatty and the two guys chasing him must have been Olympic marathon runners to keep up that pace for so long, racing through Hamburg, Germany.

This is a mixture of lighthearted and gritty material about an international robbery.

Joining Beatty ("Joe Collins") in the hijinks is a young Goldie Hawn ("Dawn Divine") and "Goldfinger" of James Bond fame, Gerte Frobe. Scott Brady and Robert Webber also give shorter-but- memorable performances. In all, entertaining but not real heavy in the brains department.

Nice to see this has finally been issued on DVD, and has a nice transfer.
Ungall
Ungall
"$" from 1971 stars Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, Scott Brady, Gert Frobe, and Robert Webber. Filmed in Europe, the story is about a bank security expert (Beatty) who plans on robbing said bank -- but only the safe deposit boxes belonging to thieves who can't go to the police. He's helped by a prostitute (Hawn) who has entertained these guys.

Very good heist film, with the world's longest and most exhausting chase scene I've ever seen. You'll be ready for bed by the time it's over. Warren Beatty is terrific as the cool, self-assured security man who somehow remains calm in the face of adversity. Hawn is a riot as a former Las Vegas showgirl who is a nervous wreck about her part in the heist.

I would only say, at 2 hours plus, it's a little long for what it is. They could have cut as much as a half an hour and been fine.
Runeshaper
Runeshaper
I loved this movie, and it is one of the more memorable movies I have ever seen. It has the perfect mix of character development, humor, drama, location, kooky characters, shady characters and plot twists. The chase scene climax (lasting about thirty minutes) is similar to that of "The Road Warrior" - something that keeps on going on and where you never get bored. Beatty and Hawn did their best work together in this flick, and it gives the viewer a snapshot of what it was like to be alive in the era of the early seventies. If you are looking to see a "lost classic", this movie will do it.
Reighbyra
Reighbyra
This is generally quite an enjoyable heist movie, though the plot (of the heist) has some enormous holes you can drive a bus through. The problem with the heist is first its conception: its main perpetrator should be pretty obvious to all affected, and the information that the heist actually took place would not simmer through to the police is totally unrealistic; the second problem is the sheer coincidence that a string of crooks not only all use the same set of deposit boxes, no - they also just happen to frequent the same prostitute - who then somehow gets together with a bank employee who just happens to be master safe cracker. Hm! I have less of a problem with the conduct of the final chase - which some other commentators complained about. The idea the pursuers would want to catch Collins alive to make sure of the money first is credible. Moreover, hitting a running person from distance with a pistol is no mean feat anyway - moviedom has distorted our expectations in that respect.
Cordann
Cordann
Enjoyed this film which had plenty of action and comedy along with lots of chasing around on frozen ponds, railroad trains, elevators, taxi cabs. In one scene a great deal of time is spend inside a large Safe Deposit Vault which keeps you glued to the screen. Goldie Hawn (Dawn Divine),"The Banger Sisters",'02, gives plenty of laughs along with Warren Beatty,(Joe Collins),"Town & Country",'01. who gives a great performance in almost every scene, especially on the Frozen Lake with a car chasing him all over the place. Scott Brady,(Sarge)performed a great supporting role trying to catch up with Joe Collins. If you enjoy the acting of Goldie Hawn and Warren Beatty and want to see a film produced in 1971, this is the film for YOU!
Gholbirius
Gholbirius
An entertaining Beatty/Goldie Hawn flick that really has nothing to say, but moves along like a freight-train and keeps your interest. Goldie Hawn was never cuter (except Shampoo w/Beatty) before she turned into Shirley MacLaine. Gert Frobe (Goldfinger) is befuddled and amusing. Beatty would make a great film the same year (McCabe & Mrs. Miller).

Don't expect much and you'll have a ball. Throw in Scott Brady (Lawrence Tierney's little brother) and other evil Germans and robbery becomes cool. I believe Richard Brooks directed this (In Cold Blood). He must have needed some fast cash. 6 out of 10. Best performance = Goldie Hawn.
Xisyaco
Xisyaco
This is a fast paced movie with a clever and intelligent plot. The first half hour appears disjointed but careful attention to the action reveals the skillful development of the characters and provides good insight into their nefarious activities. Beatty and Hawn excel as the couple defrauding the "mafia" with a clever and intelligent scheme to switch safety deposit box contents belonging to the "criminals" to their own deposit box. At the eleventh hour their plan is uncovered and the ensuing chase brilliantly portrays both the tension of the moment and the atmosphere as well as the seediness of Hamburg during this period. There are moments of good humour, pathos, and tension as the pursuers are systematically eliminated. The ending is perhaps one of the first occasions that the thieves have been allowed obviously to get away with it. Although now looking a little dated, Dollars none-the-less captures the realities of 1970's Germany. I highly recommend this film.
Gavigamand
Gavigamand
In Dollars, clever bank-security guy Warren Beatty teams with a kooky call girl (Goldie Hawn) to steal from three disparate criminals, who have each chosen to store their ill-gotten gains within the bank's safe-deposit boxes. Beatty's Joe Collins is cool and methodical, and Hawn is a true delight as Dawn Divine, although the movie suffers from a lengthy run time and an ending that seems sort of a meaningless afterthought.

Collins works for a bank in Hamburg, Germany that is on the cutting edge of technological security. Among other things, the bank has - get this! - a 24-hour closed-circuit camera inside its safe, the better to monitor would-be evil-doers. Much is made of this awesome camera. Kind of makes one pine for the days when security cameras were a new thing.

At any rate, Collins and Divine have picked out three nefarious marks - a corrupt sergeant (Scott Brady), a Vegas mobster (Robert Webber), and a drug dealer (Arthur Brauss) - each of whom has deposited dirty money into a safe-deposit box in the bank. These boxes are much as they are today, although the bank employees very pointedly do not get to see what is in them; privacy, you see, is a big selling point for the bank wishing to attract more and more foreign interests.

The plan is to move the monies from the three boxes to Divine's own safety box. Plenty of planning goes into this, and it culminates with a wonderfully tense scene in which Joe, trapped in the safe, attempts the exchange. It's only a matter of time, though, before the various baddies discover what's happened, and there's a long, long chase scene - mostly on foot! - that eats up a chunk of film near the end of the movie.

Hawn is at her giggly, risqué best (this would be during her Laugh-In days), and Beatty stays true to type as the Man with the Plan, the cool cat. I particularly enjoyed how anxious Hawn's Divine is at her own role in the heist - for a phone call she must make, she has her lines written out longhand, and yet she still can only whisper them to the bank's manager, played by Gert Frobe (Auric Goldfinger).

The ending felt like it was lacking something, perhaps some panache or some cohesion. It's almost as if someone woke up in postproduction and realized there was no actual climax and then hastily wrote one in. In fact, after reading a synopsis on IMDb, I wondered if I'd seen the same ending - interestingly, the IMDb synopsis made even less sense than the one I saw.

Finally, there's the issue of the editing and/or direction - the former was too choppy, the latter too rapid. When your movie features an intricate plan, maybe it's best not to rush through every step, forcing your viewers to keep up. Even when we could keep up, it seemed as if some plot elements were missing entirely, leading to many questions left unanswered.
Riavay
Riavay
While some call it light, I suppose that's true, but it's missing the point. $ isn't supposed to be nutritious, it's supposed to be delectable. The joy is in the unfolding story with no explanation of what's going on. Beatty says this method of robbing a bank has never been tried, but doesn't tell you what it is. The robbery starts, and you're still uncertain about how he's doing it. Then a few minutes into it, you get the, "oh. OH!" feeling and it's intoxicating to watch a slow-motion robbery, presented in batches of 60 seconds.

I thought the chase was disappointing in its lack of true variety. Goldie's escape method is good, but in general its inventiveness pales compared to the bank heist technique. And all the puzzles make sense when you watch it a second time. But I'll never forget the feeling I had, watching this movie for the first time with my wife's 80 year old grandparents (!?!?!?), and savoring that joy of uncertainty..."what the heck is going on??" Mystery lovers, bon appetite.
porosh
porosh
Goldie Hawn seems as much to have admitted that she took her role in $ where she got to co-star with Warren Beatty for a chance to get a free trip to Germany and specifically Hamburg. As it turned out it was an average caper film which did show Hamburg off to the world.

One thing I was curious about was satisfied. In its day Hamburg was known as a place for good times and a lot of $ was shot in the famous Reeperbahn district a place where many travelers partied. If you remember Ship Of Fools, the Nazi favoring publisher Jose Ferrer entertains the passengers with a German ballad On The Reeperbahn a rather lusty number. Now I finally get to see what he loved.

Beatty is a security expert and Hawn is a call girl and Beatty works for a bank in Hamburg where many criminals hide cash of all kinds laundering their dirty money. Cash and other illegal items as well. Specifically drug peddling Arthur Brauss, mob lawyer Robert Webber, and army sergeant Scott Brady who has a lucrative smuggling sideline.

I will say Beatty's plan was both devastatingly simple and took advantage of his position. You'll have to see what it is. Goldie's charms also come into play.

$ is not the greatest film for either of the stars, but their fans should be happy.
Arcanefire
Arcanefire
is when each of the crooks get the big surprise in the vault! This movie is one of my favorites. I really liked the pacing, the direction and the plot concept. While Goldie Hawn doesn't really seem quite like a prostitute, she really carries the movie. One particular memorable moment comes when she bathes her hands with money and asks herself if there is some connection between crime and sex. Warren Beatty is also good. I particularly liked Scott Brady's perfect caricature of American chauvinism. Arthur Brauss is haunting and memorable as the sociopath drug dealer. I personally found the long chase scenes in last part of the movie to be out of sync with the rest of the film.
Quamar
Quamar
This movie is sooo 1970! Take charge know-it-all Americans with long hair, James Bond style villains, lots of (for the time) hi tech gadgets, constant cigarettes, big busted bimbos in short skirts and car chases. Endless car chases! Interminable car chases! Impossible car chases! At my age I tend to regard 1971 as my era. Yet it was over 40 years ago and the movies of that time tended to reflect the James Bond culture. But any movie with lots of trains can't be all bad and much of this film is set on trains, in rail terminals and in rail freight yards. It's dated but that in itself can be interesting. Goldie Hawn with her goofy giggle is always a delight and the late Gert Frobe, although a good guy in this movie, will always be Auric Goldfinger to me.
Samuhn
Samuhn
Oscar-winner writer & director Richard Brooks of "Elmer Gantry" was a consummate professional at making movies during his 35-year career in Hollywood. "$" exemplifies his accomplished skills as both a writer and director. This nimble, adrenaline-driven, R-rated, heist thriller set in Germany came out during the free-wheeling 1970s when Hollywood could get away with a little gratuitous nudity and a lot of grit. Nobody in this amoral actioneer is entirely honest. Like the characters in Italian westerns, everyone wears shades of gray in various intensities with our heroic couple, Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn, being a more sympathetic duo than the utterly ruthless villains who display few qualms once they figure out that they've been duped. Mind you, some people may never get past the first 50 minutes as Brooks cross-cuts rapidly between characters and settings like an insane samurai warrior hacking up his adversaries with a kinetic passion. Reportedly, when Goldie Hawn finally took a look at "$," she could make neither head nor tale out of it. After those initial fifty minutes, the action settles down and then takes off like a fireball.

Debonair bank security expert Joe Collins (Warren Beatty of "Shampoo") and his accomplice, goofy call girl Dawn Devine (Goldie Hawn of "Cactus Flower"), conspire to steal a fortune from three sleazy criminals. Las Vegas attorney Mr. North (Robert Webber) and his bodyguard conceal their skim money in the bank. Sarge (Scott Brady of "Marooned") and the Major (Robert Stiles of "Doctor's Wives") keep the profits from their kickbacks and bribes from black market activities in the same bank. A murderous drug smuggler, the Candy Man (Arthur Brauss of "Victory"), keeps loot likewise in the same establishment. Since the local authorities cannot legally obtain access to these safety deposit boxes, the criminals can keep their stuff safely stashed without fear of confiscation. Joe knows the bank and its vault as well as its personnel from top to bottom, and the head of the bank, Mr. Kessel (Gert Frobe of "Goldfinger") loves Joe as if he were his own son. Joe has spent about a year installing a state-of-the-art, 24-hour, seven-days-a-week, security system in the bank. Joe has clocked the police response time to the bank alarms at three minutes through heavy downtown traffic.

During the first half of this swiftly-paced, two-hour thriller, Brooks establishes our heroes, villains, the arena of the action, and the plot. Joe and Dawn are going to hit the villains and take their loot because the villains cannot resort to the police. During the second half, Joe locks himself into the vault and transfers the ill-gotten gains from the safe deposit boxes of the bad guys to Dawn's box. In the third part, Joe and Dawn hit the streets on the lam from the evil drug dealer and the tenacious military guys have figured out that he is the culprit who robbed them. Brooks generates maximum suspense during the vault robbery as the authorities struggle to open the time lock on the vault. While he is trapped inside the vault, Joe times himself so that every minute that the camera isn't aimed at him, he is emptying or filling the safe deposit boxes. The tension and suspense are incredible during these harrowing moments. The pursuit that takes up the third part is pretty incredible. Quincy Jones' Grammy nominated music with Little Richard screaming maniacally on the soundtrack accentuates these larcenous shenanigans, and Brooks snaps up the pace with rapid-fire cutting so you are poised on the edge of your seat throughout the movie. "$" was lensed on location in Germany and the exotic setting adds to the atmosphere. Goldie Hawn is hilarious as a former Las Vegas showgirl that worries about holding up her end of the crime. Beatty is a self-assured man who can get out of any predicament no matter how challenging it is. As the villains, Scott Brady and Arthur Brauss never let our hero get very far ahead of them.

"$" is a top-notch, heist thriller that in the words of one of its villains bristles with a lot of "God, guts, and get-up-and-go!"
grand star
grand star
This film was made in 1970-71, just as Americans were becoming aware that the great period of economic advantage over our adversaries from World War II was coming to an end. Banks in Germany and Switzerland were attracting attention because they were convenient for money laundering purposes (although that term was not fully in use yet). They offered security and confidentiality, which American Banks could not compete with.

Gert Frobe is the head of the bank in the story (somewhat ironic, as his best role was as Auric Goldfinger, who also threatened the American economy in a different way). Frobe is playing his hard working banker as a good natured, somewhat naive type. His right hand man is a security expert played by Warren Beatty. Beatty has learned that there are several people who are using the bank: a bunch of crooked G.I.s led by Scott Brady; a mob lawyer (Robert Webber) and his assistant who are transporting tens of thousands of dollars to the bank; a hired assassin and drug courier. All three groups have one common denominator: Goldie Hawn has been having sex with Brady, Webber, and the assassin. The three groups have used the banks super-protected safety deposit boxes to store their cash. Beatty has set up the cameras, so he is aware of the timing of the cameras as they move. If he can get locked into the vault under reasonably acceptable circumstances, he can also control his movements so as not to be photographed by the camera. He is also in a position to have duplicates for the three security boxes he would have to open. Once this is done, he could clear out the money in bags put into Golde Hawn's box, and she can come in the next day and pick them up.

It sounds complicated. It is complicated, but Beatty and Hawn pull it off based on the knowledge of how much each group will deposit on a given weekend, and on the known nervousness of Frobe for the security of his beloved bank. The first half hour shows how the scheme got laid out, the next twenty minutes show how Beatty and Hawn (especially Beatty in the locked vault) pull it off. But the film does not end then. The three sets of individuals discover the robbery after the fact, and then Brady and the assassin discover the common denominator: Hawn. And the last forty minutes is a protracted chase through Germany, that has one great set piece of Beatty's fight for his life on a frozen lake.

It is not a great film, but it is entertaining and (at times) comic, thanks mostly to Hawn and Frobe (with some help from Brady occasionally). So I give it a "7" out of "10".
Beanisend
Beanisend
This complicated and tortuous story of a big bank heist in Germany begins slowly. I think "slowly" is the right word,, although maybe "impenetrably" would be more apt. At any rate I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. It's clear early on that extremely handsome Warren Beatty is a bank security specialist and Goldie Hawn with the enormous blue eyes of a child's doll are in cahoots to rob some illegal money. Maybe.

The lead may be deliberate but the pace picks up during the crime itself and practically goes apoplectic during the lengthy climax, which does not involve a shoot out, Gott sei dank, but only pursuits on foot, by car, and on trains. The running that Beatty alone does would give me a heart attack in a few minutes, and never mind the ancillary dangers. Speaking of heart attacks, Scott Brady looks seriously at risk. He has a raspy New York voice, a ruddy complexion, jerky motions, lanky hair, and he seems to sweat gallons.

It's a longie, but it's probably worth watching. The performances are all appropriate and up to professional standards except one (Robert Stiled as an unconvincing US Army major). Gert Fröbe is memorable and the lascivious bank manager.

Brooks has directed with style -- efficiently and without memorable touches.
Malann
Malann
How the hell did they get this made?! Presenting itself as a caper comedy, the misbegotten "$" is essentially two hours of people mumbling sentence fragments. The usually dependable Warren Beatty looks drunk, and the usually hilarious Goldie Hawn acts like she's on depressants. As for Gert Frobe, his most famous role - Goldfinger - was infinitely more admirable than his character here. Not even the guy with the champagne bottle of LSD can save this litany of worthlessness.

Am I comparing this movie to "Plan 9 from Outer Space"? I wouldn't do such a thing even if someone paid me. "P9FOS" was idiotically made but ended up hilarious; this was idiotically made and causes you to feel like your brain just melted out of your ears. Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn made up for this when they co-starred in "Shampoo", but then they co-starred in the dreadful "Town & Country". Maybe they just shouldn't co-star in movies. All in all, I would rather have my skin torn off than have to watch this again. Awful.

Maybe they should remake it with Jackie Chan. Then I would pay to see it.
Auridora
Auridora
"$" is a caper film typical of its era; slickly made and photographed but cold and soulless.The first half is a series of rambling, disconnected scenes; the second half is a long, boring chase, which is not filmed excitingly enough to sustain our interest. And there is never much tension in the movie, because the characters are too indifferent for us to really care about the development of their adventures. (**)
iSlate
iSlate
Warren Beatty has long hair in this one compared with his other roles. Goldie Hawn looks fantastic, even the full butt shots. Gert Frobe actually looks thinner than he was as Goldfinger. Roberta Flack and James Brown do a decent soundtrack and suspense is tight.

In essence this turns out to be a chase film. The first hour of the film sets up the robbery, and we get to know why none of the victims will call the cops. The robbery is then pulled off perfectly. Then comes the last part where the victims try to catch the robbers.

Warren and Goldie get away, Beatty in such a long chase that Goldie does not even appear in 30 minutes of the film. Forbe and Hawn do most of the acting. Beatty does the really heavy chase stuff. The ending with Hawn driving a yellow Corvette in California makes a nice warm feeling. There is no explanation why she is still carrying the white suitcase long after she got back home. Still, Hawns looks alone make this a 6.

There are some flesh scenes in this R rated film. There is not a lot of brains required, but the suspense in the chase carry the latter part of the film. Just sit back and enjoy the action, don't think about what does not make sense. Ring the fire bell.
OTANO
OTANO
The problem isn't (Warren Beatty). On the contrary he seemed so pretty vivid. And it isn't the heist's plane. Hell No ! It was too thrilling and too new as I've never seen anything like it before or even after. And for sure the problem couldn't be in any case (Goldie Hawn). She can radiate magical excitement whenever she appears on screen not to mention that she was at that time one effective aphrodisiac girl !...So what was the main obnoxious problem in such movie ??

It's the silliness of the end's chase ! Actually this is one of the dullest third acts ever because it was so damn easy to shoot (Beatty) down and by one cheap bullet just to get rid of that very long sequence's pains. It was too ugly to watch, too void to present anything, and too dumb as it made the whole thing fail !

So when I'll watch this one again I'll be so happy by watching the good details of the robbery as I liked the plot very much, so I loved too that quote from (Warren Beatty)'s dialogue : "sometimes there is lonely unlucky person who can be that lucky among others", as well as the thing which will live longer in my mind from this very movie : (Goldie Hawn)'s sweet beauty as the hot number with the name of (Dawn Divine)! BUT I'll never ever watch the last 15 minutes again in my whole life !
Morlurne
Morlurne
1st watched 12/7/1996 - 5 out of 10(Dir-Richard Brooks): Silly bankrobbing story that tries to be funny without any success and doesn't succeed at much else either. Boring and full of characters that no-one would want to care about.
Ballazan
Ballazan
$ is a light comedic heist movie with some solid performances from its lead stars Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. The film is set in Hamburg Grtmany and most of the film was filmed there.

The movie starts out with the crooks depositing there money in safe deposit boxes. While Joe Collins(Warren Beatty) is giving security tips to the banks manger. Dawn Devine (Goldie Hawn) is a hooker who seems to have a connection to some of the crooks and Joe. Joe conceives of a way to steal the crooks money because they cannot go to the police for protection. It ends with a fairly good chase scene and the rest plays out as you would expect.

The acting in this film is first rate from Beatty and Hawne down to many of the supporting actors. The film is fast paced and moves along at a good pace. I did not like so many dark night time scenes these are done much better now with digital cameras.

Overall an enjoyable light film that seems to go down well.

Grade C+
Silvermaster
Silvermaster
The pakage implies that Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn are pulling off a huge bank robbery, but that's not what I got out of it! I didn't get anything! In the first half there's a new character (without introduction) in every other scene. The first half-hour is completely incomprehensible, the rest is just one long, annoying, underlit chase scene. There's always an irritating sound in the background whether it's a loud watch ticking, a blaring siren, a train whistling, or even the horrible score by Quincy Jones. There are a lot of parts that are laughably bad, too. Like, the bad guys chasing Beatty on thin ice with a CAR! Or, the police arriving at the scene roughly fifteen times. I really hated this movie!
Tat
Tat
I enjoyed this film, but cannot understand why this would be classified as a comedy. I saw it on TV and the announcer said it as a comedy, and on this site it is listed as a comedy, as well as under crime and drama. It is a crime drama, but not a heavy one. It is light and has its amusing moments, but I found that the scenery was also very interesting.

The chase scene was great, except it was a bit unbelievable, as the man with the suitcase running away from the crooks never seemed to get tired. He was like a super athlete.

Worth seeing, but do not expect a comedy. As a drama it works well.