Career thief Walter Upjohn Ballantine (George C. Scott) is stuck in a prison work farm until his excitable accomplice, Al G. Karp (Sorrell Booke) visits with news of a bank that has been identified as vulnerable for robbery.
Ballantine stages an escape by hijacking an earthmover and bulldozing his way through prison walls and meets the unimpressive crew Karp has gathered: timid ex-FBI agent Victor (Bob Balaban); jittery goodfella Stosh (Don Calfa), and sexy society dame Eleonora (Joanna Cassidy) who is moonlighting as a crook for thrills.
Karp’s undercooked plan involves robbing a bank that is temporarily housed in a mobile home. So Ballantine decides they should simply hook the mobile home to a truck, cart it away to a safe location, and crack the bank’s vault at their leisure later.
Comedy highlights include Ballantine dosing himself with saltpetre in order to resist the advances of Eleonora lest he be distracted from his task; an explosives man becoming more and more frustrated each time a charge proves insufficient to blow a safe open; and bumbling FBI agent Streiger (Clifton James) showing his team surveillance footage of Ballantine where the surveillance camera is angled away from Ballantine (because the cameraman is ogling a pretty girl) and then Ballantine reveals he’s aware of the surveillance camera by dabbing the lens with the tip of an ice cream cone.
It all gets very cartoonish toward the end with Streiger and his men chasing after a runaway mobile home.
Walter Upjohn Ballantine
George C. Scott
Al G. Karp