The Challenge Film Details
Overview: A gang leader dumps her criminal boyfriend when he is convicted of robbery, but he recovers the stolen loot once he’s released. In retaliation, the gang kidnaps his son and demands the money as ransom.
Review: Strange Brit film-noir, in the sense Jayne Mansfield is playing a gang leader (and not even the moll). Anthony Quayle, playing out of character, (Jim) (if you ‘don’t’ include ‘Ice Cold in Alex, where he makes good anyway/let off). Simply said, Mansfield’s ‘Billie’ character, sets up her then lover (Quayle) into taking part in a robbery. Carl Mohne as ‘Kristy’ her ‘real'(?) lover, ‘makes a phone call to the police to land Jim in it, but it looks like it still had Billie’s blessing to land Quayle in it too??? Although the strange thing is, she’s left Jim to hide the money without anyone knowing, (including her, where he stashed it). Kristy, thinking she DOES know, is hanging around. Meanwhile, Jim takes the rap because of the ‘phone call, does his stretch and is released. However, all in the meantime Billie and the gang, have done numerous robberies whilst Jim was inside. This I don’t really get, as Mansfield/Billie didn’t know/locate the money from the first robbery with Jim, carries on robbing in the meantime. It’s not as if she had Jim’s money and was going to use it to finance jobs. On Jim’s release, Mansfield and the gang want the money from the first job, Jim of course rebels/refuses for taking the rap – it’s not long before the gang decide or rather Kristy does, to kidnap Jim’s son, Joey (typical 60’s name) in return in trying to get him to blab. Mansfield though is not warmed to the idea of harming or even taking Joey, as Kristy is a psychopath. This is where the film adds a bit more tension in the overall plot of finding Joey, who’s in the hands of one of the gang, who’s happy to kill joey if Jim isn’t forthcoming wit the loot. Edward Judd plays a good role as the Inspector after both Mansfield’s gang and all the loot from all the robberies as well as trying to wrest Joey from Kristy’s minions. Predictable kind of turns with cops and robbers etc., with some fair action/fighting and tension. It has to be said Quayle played a great role and very well. Mansfield, on the other hand also predictably still plays a dumb blonde role too much like Marilyn Monroe, spoiling it, though for me and the film. She does a good about-face with Mohne’s character realising he’s a dangerous psycho though. One thing, there’s a plot part of the loot being buried and then found to have later, explosives covering it – Jim goes to find it surprised of course, but what’s more surprising is the fact the explosives are left out in the open/unguarded!!!
Country: United Kingdom
Duration: 101 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Also known as: Underverdenens herskerinde,The Challenge,Vaalea paholainen,Trebuie un hoţ,A Mulher que Soube Amar,Le rotaie della morte,I symmoria tis mavris heiros,El reto,Wyzwanie,Blondin i undre världen,It Takes a Thief,Un compte à régler,Sie pfiff und die Kerle kuschten,けだもの街,Sie pfiff – und die Kerle kuschten