An effective little psychological thriller from England’s Hammer Studios that keeps you on edge for its entire 80 minutes in length. Peter Cushing is a Scrooge like manager at a local bank. Two days before Christmas a man posing as an insurance investigator (Andre Morell) enters with plans to rob the bank while his partners are holding Cushing’s wife and son hostage. Whether intentional or not the screenwriters have given us a unique twist on Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” including an ending that pleads for the line “God bless us everyone.” Peter Cushing would have made a superb Scrooge as he proves here, bullying his staff unmercifully over one petty matter after another. Andre Morell is perfectly hateful as the arrogant bank robber.
The film reunites Peter Cushing and Andre Morell who were superb together, as Sherlock Holmes and Watson, just a few years earlier in Hammer’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” “Cash on Demand” is the kind of small film that just would not get made today. There are no special effects or flashy moments. It is simply an unadulterated caper film with good writing and solid story telling that demands your attention. Hammer Studio’s was mostly known for its horror films, however they did make a few psychological thrillers in the early 1960’s (Scream of Fear, Stop Me, Before I Kill) that are worthy of being better known today that they are.