23 user 9 critic

I Promised to Pay (1961)

Payroll (original title)
A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ... See full summary »


Sidney Hayers


George Baxt (screenplay), Derek Bickerton (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Craig ... Johnny Mellors
Françoise Prévost ... Katie Pearson
Billie Whitelaw ... Jackie Parker
William Lucas ... Dennis Pearson
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... Monty
Tom Bell ... Blackie
Barry Keegan Barry Keegan ... Bert Langridge
Edward Cast Edward Cast ... Detective Sergeant Bradden
Andrew Faulds ... Detective Inspector Carberry
William Dexter William Dexter ... Harry Parker (as William Peacock)
Glyn Houston ... Frank Moore
Joan Rice ... Madge Moore
Vanda Godsell ... Doll
Stanley Meadows ... Bowen
Brian McDermott Brian McDermott ... Brent


A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ahead with the robbery, but when the driver of the armoured van is killed in the raid his wife plans revenge, and with the police closing in the gang start to turn on each other. Written by mike.wilson6@btinternet.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Brilliant... Brutal... Torn from tonight's headlines! See more »


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

20 May 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Promised to Pay See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lynx Films Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In a recent late night U.K. TV broadcast (29/05/18) there is a sequence set in a house where a woman is talking to a man while she is washing her daughter who is in a bath. The daughter is standing up but from her shoulders down her body is optically blurred while her mother is washing her. See more »


Despite its Newcastle setting, not one character has a genuine "Geordie" (Newcastle/Tyneside) accent. See more »


Johnny Mellors: In case you didn't know, killing that driver was murder, and you're an accessory. You give yourself up, Monty, you'll swing, sure as Christmas.
See more »


Featured in Oil City Confidential (2009) See more »


It Happens Every Day
By Tony Osborne & Norman Newell (uncredited)
Sung by Eddie Ellis
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User Reviews

Suave and sophisticated British heist flick!
12 August 2009 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Payroll is a British crime flick based on a novel by Derek Bickerton, and it is the story of a heist and its effects on all the people involved. What surprised me most is the fact that the film is so obscure! How come so few people have seen this? It's suave, sophisticated and entertaining; and it also has a great director in Sidney Hayers. It's certainly a film in need of urgent rediscovery! The film differs from many other films in its class because it focuses on the planning of the crime, the crime itself and then the effects it has on many people involved with it. The main character is Johnny Mellors; a streetwise criminal who is planning to rob the payroll of a factory. However, his plans are thrown into disarray when the firm hires a new company to guard the payroll; complete with an armoured van. The crooks decide to proceed with the crime anyway, and put a meticulous plan together to snatch the loot. However, things don't go exactly according to plan which has repercussions for everyone involved.

The plotting of this film is very good and director Sidney Hayers keeps it flowing well at all times by providing a constant stream of action. The characters presented are all interesting in their own right and the interactions between the various members of the gang are good. Things are kicked up a notch by the involvement of other parties too; as well as the central criminals, we also focus on their inside man, the police and the widow of a man killed during the robbery who is out for her own revenge. The style of the film is very sixties and feels very cool throughout, which is a big bonus to the film and gives it a real slick edge. Things remain entertaining throughout and things are left open enough to ensure that we never really know where it's going to go; by the time the ending comes, there's still several possible ways for it all to end and the ending itself is made up of many twists and turns. Again I have to reiterate my surprise at the obscurity of this film - it's certainly good enough to have a bigger following and I would certainly recommend it to anyone that considers themselves a fan of crime thrillers!

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