A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

Watch A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

"Based on one of the biggest robberies in London"
  • 1979
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 5.7  (473)

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square is a British heist comedy film released in 1980. Directed by Ralph Thomas, the movie features a stellar cast, including Richard Jordan, Oliver Tobias, and the iconic David Niven. The title of the film is a nod to the famous wartime song "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," which hints at the movie’s London setting and the blend of romance and wistful nostalgia that permeates the plot.

Set against the backdrop of London's high society and its criminal underworld, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square tells the story of an ingeniously planned and daring bank heist, with the prestigious Berkeley Square bank as the target. However, this isn't your run-of-the-mill caper. The film injects a good dose of British wit and charm, setting it apart from more dramatic or gritty heist movies.

Richard Jordan portrays Pinky Green, an American bank robber with a sharp mind and an audacious spirit. Green is hired by a London crime boss to mastermind what is to be one of the most ambitious bank robberies in history – to rob a bank that is said to be impenetrable. What distinguishes Pinky from other heist leaders is his blend of professionalism, calm demeanor, and a sense of honor, which makes him an endearing protagonist despite his criminal intentions.

Oliver Tobias plays the role of a young and enthusiastic accomplice, Ivan, who gets drawn into the high-stakes world of Pinky Green's operations. Ivan is a critical piece in the complex jigsaw that Pinky assembles in order to pull off this heist. Tobias brings a youthful energy and adroit charm to the character, thus creating a dynamic and engaging partnership with Jordan’s veteran thief.

David Niven, the British actor known for his suave and debonair performances, graces the screen as the sophisticated mastermind, Ivan Layton. Niven’s portrayal of Layton adds an element of old-world elegance to the film. His character is multifaceted, and though a part of the illegal plot, he carries a sense of the gentleman-crook archetype from the bygone era, balancing a mixture of aristocratic grace with nuanced shadings of mischief and duplicity.

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square showcases London's glittering facades and darker corners to set the scene for what is ultimately a classic game of cat-and-mouse between the thieves and law enforcement. As Pinky Green's team comes together, a diverse cast of characters is introduced, each bringing their own peculiarities and specialized skills to the table. The planning and preparation for the heist unfold with meticulous attention to detail, showcasing the clever use of technology, deception, and the exploitation of weaknesses within the bank's seemingly impregnable security system.

What sets the film apart is its focus on character development and the interactions between the ensemble cast. The heist acts as a canvas upon which the motives, idiosyncrasies, and relationships of the characters are painted. Through witty dialogue, subtle humor, and unexpected twists, the film maintains a lighthearted tone while keeping the tension and suspense of the impending heist palpable.

The movie also takes its time to explore the personal lives of the characters, providing a glimpse into their ambitions, fears, and romantic endeavors. This allows for a more humorous and human take on the genre, as the audience grows to care for the characters, complicating the typical heist narrative where the line between antagonist and protagonist is clearly defined.

Audiences are drawn into a thrilling, multi-layered caper where nothing is as simple as it seems. The thieves must navigate a series of challenges, including last-minute changes to the plan, double-crosses, and close calls with the police. The movie also doesn’t shy away from exploring the cultural differences between the American Pinky and his mostly British cohorts, which adds an extra layer of comedy to the proceedings.

As the heist progresses, you're never quite sure who to root for, with the lines between 'good' and 'bad' becoming increasingly blurred. The chase scenes, the near-misses, and the tension-filled moments of the actual bank robbery are executed with a blend of excitement and levity, which is the trademark of British crime capers.

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square is a film that, while perhaps not as famous or critically renowned as some of its heist film contemporaries, nevertheless provides a satisfying mix of humor, crafty plot developments, and enchanting London scenery. It stands as a delightful cinematic experience that captures the spirit of its era with elegance, wit, and a touch of roguish charm.

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square is a 1979 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Where to Watch A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Sling, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (473)