Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gambit (1966)

Director: Ronald Neame

Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, Herbert Lom, Roger C. Carmel, Arnold Moss, John Abbott

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Shirley MacLaine raises Michael Caine!

Plot: Cockney cat burglar Harry Dean needs Hong Kong dancer Nicole Chang's help to pull off the perfect heist. With a simple makeover and a new wardrobe; Nicole's resemblance to wealthy recluse Mr. Shahbandar's late wife is uncanny. While Shahbandar is distracted by the mesmerizing Nicole, Harry takes steps to swipe a priceless artifact from under the tycoon's nose. But even the most foolproof schemes have a way of backfiring.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I guess I expected more from the cast. Herbert Lom comes off best. MacLaine does a fine job and is very likable but it's Caine that delivers a very bland performance. I mean, there's no life in it and this is from a guy who's generally solid. The opening (which lasts for many minutes) is a false one. Once they start the story over for real it's like you've been duped. I found myself suddenly not caring. I liked the false start and thought it was different and kind of funny but I just didn't care enough at that point to go through it again only much longer. I didn't buy Caine's character falling in love with MacLaine. I challenge anyone to show me where Caine exhibits any believable emotion. OK, I'll stop. I have a problem with Michael Caine phoning it in and that's that. The little twists at the end were slightly cute and one of them was very predictable - almost like afterthoughts.

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