AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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$
Alternate Title: Dollars
Director: Richard Brooks (Dir)
Release Date:   Dec 1971
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 15 Dec 1971; Los Angeles opening: 22 Dec 1971
Production Date:   early Jan--early May 1971 in Hamburg, Germany at Bendestorf Studios
Duration (in mins):   119-20
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Cast:   Warren Beatty (Joe Collins)  
    Goldie Hawn (Dawn Divine)  
    Gert Frobe (Mr. Kessel)  
    Robert Webber (Attorney [Mr. Las Vegas])  
    Scott Brady (Sarge)  
    Arthur Brauss (Candy Man)  
    Robert Stiles (Major)  
    Wolfgang Kieling (Granich)  
    Robert Herron (Bodyguard)  
    Christiane Maybach (Helga)  
    Hans Hutter (Karl)  
    Monica Stender (Berta)  
    Horst Hesslein (Bruno)  
    Wolfgang Kuhlman (Furcoat)  
    Klaus Tschichan (Knifeman)  
    Tove Platon (Customs)  
    Kirsten Lahman (Customs)  
    Francoise Blanc ($ stripper)  
    Darrell Armstrong (Associated Press)  
    Walt Trott (Stars and Stripes)  

Summary: In Hamburg, Germany, American Joe Collins is considered by bank manager Kessel to be the most honest, hard-working bank security expert in the world. Unknown to Kessel, Joe has been devising a plan with his girl friend, American exaptriate prostitute Dawn Divine, to take the contents from bank safe-deposit boxes owned by several criminals and place them into one owned by Dawn. As Joe explains to Dawn, the theft will be beyond the law because the thefts of illegal funds can never be reported. Joe's plan depends upon his intellect and knowledge of the bank's expensive vault, coupled with information that Dawn supplies to him about some of her clients: Sarge, an American sergeant who is involved in the black market, and has recently graduated to smuggling heroin; Mr. Las Vegas, an attorney who is helping his Las Vegas clients evade taxes; and Candy Man, a sadistic killer and drug dealer. Although Joe has arranged for his friend Helga, a striptease dancer at a gangster-run nightclub, to report on Candy Man, she is killed, apparently after arranging for Dawn to meet Candy Man and accompany him on a flight to Copenhagen. Unknown to Dawn, Candy Man is to deliver some concentrated LSD that he has poured into an empty champagne bottle. On the flight, he gives Dawn the champagne to carry in her bag, telling her to save it for later. Upon their arrival in Copenhagen, though, she is stopped by customs officials, who say that they were given a tip that she might be smuggling drugs into the country. While they are questioning her, Candy Man surreptitiously takes the champagne and walks away. When Dawn is let go by the authorities, she returns to Hamburg, to the relief of Joe, who did not find out about Helga's death until after it was too late to stop Dawn. On the day of the heist, which Joe had already announced was his last before returning home, Joe sets his plan in motion by telling some of the bank employees to watch out for a suspicious-looking man with a scar. At the specified time, a nervous Dawn, who has been practicing her lines all morning, calls and whispers a threat to blow up the bank if Kessel does not give a man with a scar the gold bar on display in a secure case in the lobby. A nervous Kessel alerts Joe, who goes with him to retrieve the gold bar, then quickly grabs it and runs into the vault as he orders the clerk to shut the vault door immediately. Kessel and the others at the bank are amazed by Joe's bravery but worried when they realize that he had left the key to open the vault from the inside on his desk. Kessel communicates with Joe through the bank's video security system and assures him that the police are on their way and will look for the bomb. He also insists, over Joe’s assurances that he will be fine and Kessel should not ruin a $50,000 door, on using a blowtorch to break the vault's lock because he fears that the air will not last until the next morning when it would automatically open. After the police determine that there was no bomb, scores of spectators and media arrive at the bank. While his plight is being reported extensively on German television, Joe quickly unlocks and empties the targeted safe-deposit boxes, placing the content of each into Dawn's box and timing his activities to avoid the security camera's sweeping lens. Meanwhile, thousands of people throughout Germany are watching television and hailing Joe for his bravery, even Sarge and Mr. Las Vegas. When the welder finally breaks through the vault door, Joe has completed his job and the safe-deposit boxes appear to be untouched. The next day, when Sarge comes to empty his safe-deposit box, he sees Joe and congratulates him for his "American know how" and bravery. As Sarge and Candy Man go into private rooms to open their respective safe-deposit boxes, they are stunned to find them empty, as is Mr. Las Vegas, who collapses in shock. Meanwhile, Dawn, who has entered the bank and taken the contents of her safe-deposit box, now bursting with cash and Candy Man's champagne bottle, is barely able to leave the bank without the assistance of an eager Kessel, who finds her attractive. As the day goes on, Candy Man is threatened by his drug contacts for not having their money, and Sarge, believing that his partner, the major, has robbed him starts to beat him up until Candy Man arrives and tells them that only the people who could not report their theft had been robbed. As they ponder what has happened, Candy Man sees a photograph of Sarge and Dawn, then takes Sarge and the major to her apartment. Although Sarge thinks that Dawn is "a dumb broad," incapable of being involved in the robbery, they find Joe's name and telephone number in her address book, then call him and quickly hang up. Candy Man, who says he does not believe in coincidences or heroes, waits while Sarge calls Kessel to ask for Joe’s address, saying that he is a friend who lost his address. Kessel is at first reluctant to reveal the information but relents when Sarge says that he needs it for a party, which Kessel assumes is Joe's going away party. Kessel then has second thoughts and calls Joe to inform him what he has done. Joe tells him that it is not a problem, then quickly packs up all of the cash that he and Dawn have been counting. Dawn adds the champagne bottle to the suitcase she will take, then, on Joe's instructions, drives away in his car just as Sarge, the major and Candy Man arrive. While the major follows Dawn, Sarge and Candy Man pursue Joe into his building, then through the backstreets and rail yards of Hamburg. Meanwhile, Dawn eludes the major by boarding a train that is about to leave, then jumping off as it pulls out of the station. Joe makes his escape from Hamburg by hiding in a car being transported on a car hauling trailer. Early the next morning, Sarge and Candy Man see the trailer out in the country and moments later spy Joe walking through the snow. They jump into Sarge's car and follow the road around a frozen lake, and when the car gets stuck in some slush, Candy Man jumps into another car and drives out onto the lake. As Candy Man drives back and forth trying to run down Joe, the ice begins to crack and the car sinks, sending him plunging to his death in the icy water. Now Joe starts to run toward a moving train as Sarge gets into his car and follows. Some time later, as Joe is sleeping in a compartment on the train, Sarge puts a gun to his head. He demands the money, but when Joe opens the suitcase it contains only old newspapers and the bottle of champagne. Joe then says that Dawn has cheated all of them and convinces Sarge to work together to find her. They decide to open the bottle of champagne to seal the deal, but while Joe looks at his glass and wonders why there are no bubbles, Sarge drinks straight out of the bottle and almost immediately begins to writhe in pain as the concentrated LSD takes effect. When the train arrives at the next station, Joe throws the suitcase into the trash and walks away. Some time later, Dawn checks into a Southern California resort and is happily reunited with Joe, telling him that she knew that they would never kill him as long as he did not have the money. 

Production Company: Frankovich Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures  
Director: Richard Brooks (Dir)
  Tom Shaw (Asst dir)
Producer: M. J. Frankovich (Prod)
Writer: Richard Brooks (Wrt)
Photography: Petrus Schloemp (Photog)
  Karl Petri (Gaffer)
  Phil Stern (Stillman)
Art Direction: Guy Sheppard (Scenic des)
  Olaf Ivens (Scenic des)
Film Editor: George Grenville (Film ed)
  Murray Jordan (Asst ed)
Set Decoration: Joe La Bella (Props)
Costumes: Johannes Kohner (Ward)
Music: Quincy Jones (Mus)
  Ralph Hall (Mus ed)
Sound: Jan Van Der Eerden (Sd mixer)
  Arthur R. Piantadosi (Sd rec)
  Richard Tyler (Sd rec)
  Jack Haynes (Sd rec)
  Jerry Stanford (Sd ed)
  Vince Melandri (Sd ed)
  Nancy Sammons (Sd ed, asst)
Special Effects: Westheimer Co. (Titles)
Make Up: Ernst Schmekel (Makeup)
  Bob Jiras (Makeup)
  Barry Richardson (Hairdresser)
Production Misc: Marshall Schlom (Scr supv)
  Al Horwits (Public relations)
  Elsa De Bruycker (Tech adv)
  Gene Levy (Auditor)
  Frank Winterstein (Unit mgr)
  Adam Opel (Transportation)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: Germany and United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Money Is" and "Do It to It," music and lyrics by Quincy Jones, sung by Little Richard and Don Elliott "The Human Instrument"; "When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You)," music and lyrics by Mark Fisher, Joe Goodwin and Larry Shay, sung by Roberta Flack.
Composer: Mark Fisher
  Joe Goodwin
  Quincy Jones
  Larry Shay
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Frankovich Productions, Inc. and Pax Enterprises, Inc. 15/12/1971 dd/mm/yyyy LP40477

Physical Properties: Sd:
  col: Technicolor

 
Genre: Comedy-drama
  Comedy-drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
  with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Americans in foreign countries
  Bank robberies
  Deception
  Hamburg (Germany)
  Prostitution
 
Subjects (Minor): Airplanes
  Airports
  Champagne
  Chases
  Copenhagen (Denmark)
  Drug dealers
  Germany
  Hotels
  Ice
  Lawyers
  LSD
  Nightclubs
  Poisoning
  Police
  Safe-deposit boxes
  Smuggling
  Snow
  Striptease dancers and dancing
  Suitcases
  Television news and information
  Trains
  United States. Army
  Welders

Note: Some contemporary sources listed the film's title as $ (Dollars) , while others listed it Dollars , and the British release title was The Heist . In the opening credits, the film's title is only conveyed by a huge $ that is being swung into place by an industrial crane over a large building. Richard Brooks's onscreen credit reads: "Written and directed by." At the bottom of the cast list in the end credits a statement reads "Hamburg press, television and radio reporters played by themselves."
       As noted in the opening credits, the film was shot on location in Hamburg, Germany, at the Bendestorf Studios in Hamburg and in Scandanavia. An onscreen statement also acknowledges the assistance of the Hamburg Art Museum. According to contemporary news items, the frozen lake sequence and other snow scenes were shot in Norway, and portions of the end of the film were shot in Munich. Famous Hamburg locations that were used in the film included Reeperbahn, which is the Red Light district, the Kunsthalle Art Museum and the Salambo Cabaret nightclub.
       The sequence in which Goldie Hawn is seen driving a convertible was shot along Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California. The final hotel sequence was shot at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA. News items noted that star Warren Beatty was injured while filming the train sequence, forcing him off the production for at least two days. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   17 Jan 1972.   
Daily Variety   14 Dec 1971.   
Filmfacts   1971   pp. 711-13.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jan 1971   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   7 May 1971   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Dec 1971   p. 3, 14.
Los Angeles Times   23 Dec 1971.   View, p. 1, 12.
New York Times   16 Dec 1971   p. 72.
Time   27 Dec 1971.   
Variety   16 Sep 1970.   
Variety   25 Mar 1971.   
Variety   28 Jun 1971.   
Variety   15 Dec 1971   p. 18.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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