Public Domain Theater: The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery (& “Doggone Tired”)

Welcome to Public Domain Theater, your home for the wonderful world of films that have (in the United States, at least) fallen into the public domain, and are free for everyone to see!

We’ve got a doozy of a heist picture for you this time: The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery! (Also distributed as The St. Louis Bank Robbery by those with no drama in their souls.)

Notable for being based on a real bank robbery that occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, with many bank employees, police officers, and St. Louis residents appearing as themselves, re-enacting the parts they played in the holdup. Our crew of thieves are all portrayed by professional actors, though, including Steve McQueen as the naive college dropout who thinks they can pull just this one job and then be quits with crime for good.

This is the brand of heist picture where the dangers posed by the police and security systems are peanuts next to the greed, suspicion, and barely-concealed-homoerotic-subtext that turn the thieves against each other. It’s a grim, harrowing dramatic thriller …

So let’s pair it up with something light and goofy! From MGM studios, and directed by Tex Avery, we have the animated short “Doggone Tired”! When Avery worked at Warner Bros., they were one of the key developers of Bugs Bunny into a beloved icon of animation. With their move to MGM, we now see Avery experiment with a different take on the rabbit vs. hunter setup … though it’s still Tex Avery, so you know the gags are wild, hectic, demented, and never less than hilarious!

Wherever your fancy may lie, stop on by Public Domain Theater to see if we’ve got the picture for you!

Opening Cartoon:

Feature Presentation: