Follow TV Tropes


Film / $

Go To

$ is a 1971 film directed by Richard Brooks, starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn.

Yes, that's the title. "$", aka "Dollars".

Joe Collins (Beatty) is the security manager at a bank in Hamburg, Germany. Because this is a heist movie, Joe has a plan to rob his own bank. Or rather, he and his girlfriend, bubbly hooker Dawn Divine (Hawn) have a plan to rob three of Dawn's clients who are customers at the bank. A mob lawyer that Dawn calls "Mr. Las Vegas" keeps hundreds of thousands of dollars in his box. So do Sarge and Major, two U.S. Army soldiers who have been making a lot of money on graft and smuggling and now are graduating to drug-running. They are partnering with "Candy Man", still a third client of Dawn's who also has a box at the bank. Candy Man, a murderous sociopath, is also smuggling concentrated LSD for his drug lord bosses, hidden in two champagne bottles.


As Joe explains to Dawn, he isn't robbing the bank, he's robbing three sets of criminals who keep their loot at the bank, criminals who can't go to the cops. Joe stages a fake robbery and in the process robs the crooks for real, transferring some $1.5 million from their boxes to Dawn's. But just because they can't go to the cops doesn't mean that Sarge and the Candy Man can't come after Joe.

Gert Fröbe of Goldfinger fame plays Mr. Kessel the bank president, who is good friends with Joe and lusts after Dawn.



  • Aborted Arc: Dawn is shown surreptitiously recording her sex with Mr. Las Vegas. This has nothing to do with the rest of the story.
  • Alliterative Name: Dawn Divine.
    Dawn: I chose it myself!
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Candy Man is toting around a briefcase containing quite a bit of money as well as the two champagne bottles. Later Joe and Dawn pack a bigger suitcase containing all of their loot from the three boxes.
  • The Caper: The bank keeps a $40,000 gold ingot on display in the lobby as decoration. Joe has Dawn call in a fake bomb threat purportedly from bandits who want the gold ingot. Joe plays the hero, grabbing the gold ingot, dashing into the vault, and slamming the door behind him—and then he robs the three boxes.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Sarge and the Major are a criminal version of this trope. Sarge is a gruff, loud, dominant type while the Major is mild-mannered and cheerful. Also, despite their ranks, Sarge is definitely the senior partner in their criminal operation.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The champagne bottles full of concentrated LSD. Joe frowns in confusion when he finds them in Candy Man's box but takes them anyway. Dawn nearly opens one when she's with Joe after the robbery, but they get distracted. Then after Joe incorrectly thinks Dawn has betrayed him, he and Sarge open the bottle. As Joe is wondering why the champagne in his glass isn't bubbling, Sarge takes a long swig from the bottle, and promptly dies.
  • Chiaroscuro: Some stark photography in the scene where Sarge and Candy Man chase Joe through a railroad switch yard at night.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: When Mr. Kessel gets the call that there's a bomb in the bank and he has to turn over the gold ingot or the crooks will detonate the bomb, he nervously shakes out a cigarette and puts it in his mouth backwards. Joe helpfully reverses it for him.
  • Danger — Thin Ice: Sarge and Candy Man have chased Joe to a frozen lake. Joe tries to flee across the lake on foot. Candy Man gets the bright idea to drive onto the lake and run Joe down. In fairness, there's a trail indicating that people have been been driving across the lake—but Joe's foot soon breaks through the ice, indicating that it's starting to thaw. Moments later Candy Man dies when his car goes plunging through the ice.
  • Double Entendre: Mr. Kessel lusts after sexy young Dawn. While chit-chatting at the bank he asks her what she's up to.
    Dawn: First shopping, and then business with my private box.
    Mr. Kessel: [earnestly] I would give anything to see your private box.
    Dawn: [giggles] Mr. Kessel, all boxes are the same.
  • Exact Words: Candy Man gives the courier the money for the LSD. He then shoots the courier in the head and takes back the money. When his bosses confront him with the newspaper photo of the dead courier and demand to know if he made the payment, Candy Man says "What you gave me, I gave him."
  • Fanservice Extra: Lots of naked ladies at the strip club where Candy Man meets his employers.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Dawn charges $200 in 1971 money, which would be something like $1200 in 2019, for a roll in the hay.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Dawn is awful cheerful and friendly and bubbly for a sex worker.
  • Kick the Dog: Candy Man confirms that the LSD isn't just water by dribbling a little of it on cat food that he has set out for the cat. Soon after we see him throwing the dead cat in a furnace.
  • Lingerie Scene: Dawn is introduced lying face down on her bed wearing nothing but a sheer nightie and see-through underwear. Mr. Las Vegas sticks her payment in said underwear.
  • Money Fetish: As they're piling the money from Dawn's box into her bag, she rubs the bills over her face, moans with pleasure, and wonders if there's a connection between robbery and sex.
  • Money Song: Little Richard sings a song called "Money Is" that plays over the opening sequence and periodically throughout the movie.
  • One-Letter Title: Not even a letter, but a symbol.
  • Outlaw Couple: A bank security manager and his hooker girlfriend, stealing $1.5 million from some crooks.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Mr. Las Vegas and his sidekick open the box, only to find all their mob money gone. The sidekick says "What do we do?" Mr. Las Vegas says "Start running." Sure enough, while Candy Man, Sarge, and the Major chase after Joe and Dawn, Mr. Las Vegas disappears from the movie.
  • Stealing from Thieves: Joe robs the boxes where three sets of criminals keep their loot.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Candy Man spots a photo of Dawn and Sarge that is hanging in Sarge's warehouse. He puts things together instantly, saying "I don't believe in coincidences."
  • Video Credits: The names don't come up with the credits, but after the movie ends there's a short montage of highlights.
  • Visual Title Drop: The first shot of the movie shows a crane on a pier moving a large dollar sign, of the sort that might be used to make a name on the side of a building.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Candy Man and his drug running bosses meet at a seedy strip club. One of the strippers there, Helga, is in cahoots with Joe. She pays with her life.