WriterGeorge Auerbach, John Roeburt, fr Release dateAugust 24, 1951 CastDick Haymes (Benny), Nina Foch (Linda Kovacs), Roland Young (Matthew), Lionel Stander (Monk Williams), Freddie Bartholomew (Reverend Wilbur), Oskar Karlweis (Mr. Kovacs) Similar moviesRelated Edgar G Ulmer movies
St. Benny the Dip is a 1951 American comedy film directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. The film is also known as Escape If You Can in the United Kingdom.
The film opens with one of the few depictions of the East River maritime area of New York City many years before it became the South Street Seaport tourist attraction.
Benny (Dick Haymes), Monk (Lionel Stander) and Matthew (Roland Young) are three small-time crooks trying to escape a police dragnet in New York City. After hiding in a church and taking minister's suits and dog collars, they emerge, dressed as priests, and find shelter in an abandoned Bowery mission. When beat cops mistake them for real ministers sent to restore the soup kitchen, they are forced to go along with repairs, holding services and feeding the poor. They have to decide whether to stay, steal the mission money and run, or... change their lives. As with Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, when the bishop he has robbed lets him go, it is the first time they have been treated with respect and had a chance to do good work. The question is whether the police detectives or junior priests will turn them in before they even have a chance.