THE JOKERS is long on style and short on content, but it has enough wit and anarchistic joy to merit a viewing. Reed and Crawford are nihilistic brothers; Reed is an architect and Crawford has just been tossed out of military school. They plan to steal the British Crown Jewels, then
return them after a week, just to prove it can be done. After a campaign of bomb scares to see how the Bomb Disposal Unit and Scotland Yard handle the crises, they hide a bomb in the Tower Of London's Jewel Room, then call the authorities. Next, they don disguises that allow them to slip into the
heavily guarded room with the Bomb Disposal Unit. As soon as they are inside, they drug the technicians, steal the jewels, drench themselves in prop "blood," and race to an ambulance where they knock the drivers out and escape. It's the "crime of the century," and the whole country is perplexed.
Before the robbery, both brothers had written letters explaining their criminal plans. Reed sent his to the authorities, but Crawford did not. When Reed is arrested, Crawford denies having had anything to do with the crime. Eventually Crawford puts the jewels on the scales of the Statue of
Justice, which stands majestically above the Old Bailey courthouse. Both brothers wind up in jail and are planning their escape as the film ends. It's not much more than a prank, but the derring-do is so much fun that it doesn't feel as though it's taken too long to be revealed. All of the actors
are excellent, and the humor flies thick and fast. Many of the secondary players have gone on to great success in other films and TV series. You'll recognize a large cadre of some of the finest British farceurs. If you can put logic aside, you'll thoroughly enjoy THE JOKERS. Anyone interested in
seeing what life was like in London during the legendary "swinging 60s" will do well to see this picture. It's a most accurate depiction of the times. Raymond Massey's son, Daniel, is first-rate as a photographer. Don't confuse this cast's Peter Graves with James Arness' brother. Excellent
photography by Hodges is a highlight.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: THE JOKERS is long on style and short on content, but it has enough wit and anarchistic joy to merit a viewing. Reed and Crawford are nihilistic brothers; Reed is an architect and Crawford has just been tossed out of military school. They plan to steal the… (more)