Sunday, August 14, 2011

Seven Golden Men (1965)

Director: Marco Vicario

Starring: Philippe Leroy, Rossana Podesta, Gastone Moschin, Gabriele Tinti

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They Walk, They Talk, They Crawl on Their Bellies Into Bank Vaults. And They're Mine, All Mine...

Plot: Albert, (Leroy) an incomparably brilliant, completely unflappable criminal genius, known as the Professor, has masterminded a bold and elaborate criminal operation to remove £7,000,000.00 of gold bricks from a supposedly impregnable bank vault. In this endeavor he is assisted by Adolf, Aldo, Alfonso, Alfred, Anthony and August, an international crew of thieves with specialized skills. Also on board is the Professor's delightfully amoral femme fatal girlfriend, Giorgia (Podesta).

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? What's Italian for 'no'?

This is one of those light heist/caper films that were so prevalent in the 1960s like THE ITALIAN JOB (1969) that featured a team of specialists and is completely harmless. This isn't a comedy in that there are no laughs to be found but the bouncy, catchy score (it's got that annoying, bouncy scat chorus flying all over the place - OK, I say annoying because I didn't care for this score at all. Sorry Armando Trovajoli) changes the tone completely. The Bond-inspired bank vault and gadgetry used for the caper also help put this over the top.

What's unusual, though is that the heist has just gotten underway as the film begins. We don't get any set-up or preparation - we dive right into it and it doesn't let up until the gold has been stolen and is on its way out of the country. There's some double crossing going on that almost doesn't make sense. I mean really. You steal 2 tons of gold and you want all of it for yourself instead of sharing it with 6 others? That's some greedy shit, man. It's 2 friggin' tons of gold!

Anyway, good luck finding it. It hasn't been released anywhere but Japan and you'll have to find a not-so-legit means of obtaining it and now that I've seen it, it's not worth the trouble but I will give the sequel, SEVEN GOLDEN MEN STRIKE AGAIN (1967), a go. It looks more James Bondian with the larger than life set pieces and gadgets. What can I say? I'm a sucker for this 60s Euro shit.

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