Cinema: Dour Caper BELLMAN AND TRUE

Directed by Richard Loncraine Screenplay by Desmond Lowden and Richard Loncraine with Michael Wearing

The best description of Bellman and True is an oxymoron: it is, of all things, a dour caper. That is, a usually merry cinematic enterprise -- the one in which a group of swagmen laugh all the way to the supposedly impenetrable bank vault from which they intend to extract millions -- is shown with brutal realism.

Such a stroke of honesty is alone enough to commend this good little British picture. But it is almost the least of its virtues. The mobsters force an alcoholic computer engineer named Hiller (played with a wonderfully watery passivity by Bernard Hill) to act...

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