Cinema: Tunneling to Nowhere

With Zero Mostel, and a wildly improbable storyline, The Great Bank Robbery seems all set to snipe away at an inviting target—the standard western heist. Unfortunately, amid leathery gags and uninspired parody, the guns jam early and often.

Burrowing parallel tunnels toward an otherwise unassailable bank are a band of crooks disguised as robed members of the Church of the Cosmic Heart and a group of Chinese-American T-men impersonating Chinese laundrymen. The crooks want the bank's liquid assets; the agents want proof that the bank's president has been stashing swag for outlaws. Who will get there first?

As the bogus preacher, Mostel, who...

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