Strongly committed to the ideals of a French right-wing alliance with links in high places all over the world, ex-soldier and nationalist Bert (Ian McShane) conceives of a brilliant plan to obtain finances to buy arms for their struggle and a planned eventual political take-over.
The scene is Nice in the South of France – the playground of the rich and indolent. Over a long weekend, the vault of a particular bank will be stuffed with Francs. And Bert knows a way in – through a labyrinthine sewer system, a map of which he has obtained from a contact in the town hall.
With colleagues from his former fighting days in Indo-China and Algeria, Jean (Warren Clarke) and Serge (Christopher Malcolm), Bert – known as “The Brains” – reluctantly recruits a band of local heavies to assist in the robbery.
The criminals’ sole interest is the money and the good life it can bring; they cannot understand Bert’s ideological extremist right-wing motivation.
As the job is planned with meticulous and flawless detail, the personality clashes between the two factions become more and more defined.
But the heist goes perfectly and Bert finds more money than he ever dreamed of: fifteen million dollars – the biggest bank job in the world.
Though the police are completely baffled at first, the criminal members of the robbery team are soon throwing their money around with reckless abandon. As they are caught one by one, Bert manages to avoid capture but in the end, he too is cornered.
When the mastermind is finally caught, he offers the police a deal they can’t resist.
Based on the true story of France’s “Great Drain Robbery” of the Societe Generale bank in Nice in 1976, this glossy TV movie from ATV was also known as Sewers of Gold and released in some markets as The Great Riviera Bank Robbery.
The Brain (Bert)
Town Hall Man