The Flying Scot on DVD

Monday, 19 January 2015 00:00 Written by 

The Flying Scot on DVDA small but experienced band of robbers plan the perfect heist, on whose proceeds they intend to retire. A special passenger train bound for London is due to carry £500,000 in cash destined for destruction, but the gang want to relieve the vehicle of its cargo prior the train reaching its destination. As it is the sort of robbery the group have successfully carried out before, they do not anticipate any need to deviate from their well-oiled plan.

This British movie from 1957 stars Lee Patterson ("Reach for the Sky") as Ronnie, an impatient and driven young crook, Kay Callard ("They Who Dare") as Jackie, the glamorous and compassionate assistant, with Alan Gifford ("Phase IV", Lloyd Munro in Crossroads) as the older, wiser third member of the team. The film was produced and directed by Compton Bennett ("King Solomon's Mines", "The Seventh Veil").

Heist movie aficionados will enjoy this trim little piece that manages to sustain tension and drama for virtually its entire 67 minute running time. Shot almost exclusively onboard steam trains, the claustrophobic cabins and corridors box-in the characters and the train tearing down the track is like the fuse of a bomb incessantly burning down, ramping up the pressure.

Events and unpredictable passengers on the train conspire to obstruct and delay the heist, deliciously disrupting the team's plan where previously they have succeeded without a hitch. The seeds of potential disaster are sown early on, encouraging the audience to fast-forwards in their minds, gleefully trying to anticipate how the robbers will deal with each hurdle. Is the risk associated with each knock-back worth it?

"The Flying Scot" is an interesting film in terms of deciding who you side with - the thieves or the other, disparate characters. I was quite conflicted but then the joy of this kind of story is the journey, not necessarily the destination.

The only bonus content is an alternate title sequence with the film's name revised to "The Mailbag Robbery". The cleaned-up, black-and-white picture quality is very good and the sound clarity is fine.

“The Flying Scot” (1957) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Network. The main feature has a running time of 67 minutes approx, carries a ‘U’ certificate and retails for £9.99, or less from

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 11:20

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