Gambit 1966 (1966) Other movies recommended for you
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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… Runtime: 109 min Release Date: 16 Dec 1966
A brilliantly paced, gripping crime caper, the film has an interesting plot formula, and in general it is quite engaging stuff. Neame's vision of the film involves many close-ups and low camera angles, and this provides an enticing visual style. It is often amusing, with clever ideas, clever sets and wonderful costumes. MacLaine is also very good in an intriguing performance that involves her being silent for the first 25 minutes. So, what can one say against this film? It is a bit silly, a tad overlong, somewhat predictable, and not very deep, but as simple entertainment you cannot find <more>
many films better than this. I found it a joy to watch, and Neame's crafting as director can be admired too. It is a great film, even if not a masterpiece, although, for its genre, it could possibly be regarded as a masterpiece.
When the best laid plans don't get off the ground... (by theowinthrop)
Any film with Shirley Maclaine and Michael Caine has real potential for being delightful. Add to it Herbert Lom as a powerful, but not really bad fellow for a change, and it is headed for being terrific. What carries it to the top is it's sense of spoofing. For GAMBIT came at the end of the first sequence of crime movies where a scheme for the big robbery or whatever was the crime involved was carefully, step by step, explained to the audience as it was done. The best known of these films were THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, RIFFIFI, TOPKAPI, THE KILLING, OCEAN'S ELEVEN the original one with <more>
Frank Sinatra . Normally the schemes are flawlessly carried out, but some small error blows the game away such as THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN or THE LAVENDER HILL MOB , or there are internecine jealousies that destroy the plan RIFFIFI, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE , or outsiders destroy the plan THE KILLING, OCEAN'S ELEVEN . But GAMBIT changes this deliciously.The movie is actually two films, one about thirty minutes long interesting but mechanical and the other about eighty minutes long which makes a total hash of the initial film. We see Caine and his partner, John Abbott, looking at Maclaine in the dance hall/bar she works at. She is important for some reason tied to her face. Soon after hiring her, they show her a file on the life of Shabandar Lom the world's richest man living in a country like Indonesia or Malaysia. He is a lonely man, ever since his one beloved wife died some twenty five years before - and she resembled Maclaine. They head for the city that Shabandar lives in, planning to check into the hotel that is his home and headquarters, as aristocrats. They know his secret police will bring Maclaine's appearance to Lom's attention. He is fascinated by her, and takes her out to dinner, while Caine explains he has to await for some phone calls. You see him doing some robbery in Lom's apartment which is electronically protected - but he is able to handle that , to get at a rare ancient bust of a princess which looks like the late Mrs. Shabandar and Maclaine . At a given timed moment, she excuses herself to go to the powder room, leaving her bag behind to allay suspicion, but gets a cab, which picks up Caine at the hotel, and takes them to the airport where they leave for London.And that half hour gives the whole scheme. As Caine explains it to Abbott it is perfect. Not a seam in it.Soon the seams begin to be shown here.First off, Caine imagines Maclaine is putty in his hand, doing what he wants without any questions. From the start she is nothing but asking questions. This drives him crazy, like when she questions whether Lom can be the richest man in the world or not Caine shouts back, in desperation, "OKAY, HE'S NOT THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD...HE'S THE FIFTH OR THE FOURTEENTH! WHAT THE HELL DOES IT MATTER!!" It still would not be totally off-centered if Caine, in his research, had been more careful. Lom as typical for Herbert Lom is an exceptionally smart guy - and very modern. He later explains to a bemused Caine that years before he allowed his inner sanctum to be invaded by a reporter and photographer, and had dressed up like a religious Mohammadan, but that was just window dressing. Since Caine has based his scheme on the information from that same article, one can imagine his feelings.Even Abbott, who plays a small part in the robbery plans, has problems. He is supposed to call Caine "to tell him that he has to call back that night", to give added details for the sake of a naturally suspicious Lom. But instead of using a specific pay phone as planned, Abbott can't even get into the phone booth because of a belligerent local man who is angrily making a telephone call.As you can see from these examples, the second movie the eighty minutes following the opening is like a guide book to why planning can only be a failure. It is a welcome antidote to the idiotic flawless plans that are at the center of the other films. And the three leads four with Abbott are enjoying the joke. The film is not will the plan be a success, but will it succeed despite the flaws that nobody even thought could arise.Only in the Sinatra OCEAN'S ELEVEN was there a similar sense of fun - as the Rat Pack realizes the inanity of the film plot there robbing the Vegas casinos on one night with the lights of Dino, Sammy, Frank, Joey, and the others working with precision when they'd prefer being drunk. Here Caine and Maclaine try to keep to an impossible time table and scheme after realizing they are not dealing with a tradition bound millionaire but one who fully likes using anti-burglary devices based on modern electronics. Yet they do manage to get done in time, for the double possibly triple surprise at the conclusions of the movie.An absolute joy particularly seeing Lom being really pleasant for most of the film - except for one moment, but it passes quite quickly . It certainly deserves the kudos it has received as a first rate adventure comedy
Like the other notable twist laden Michael Caine movie Sleuth I can't say much about Gambit without spoiling it. During the first 25 minutes I was doubting if I was even going to enjoy the film. The characters appeared to be forgettable and two dimensional. Michael Caine outwits everyone but in an uninteresting manner while Shirley MacLaine never speaks nor shows any emotion or vulnerability with Herbert Lom plays an unimaginative caricature of a reclusive, eccentric millionaire. Like Sleuth on first viewing I thought that film was making a mistake during a certain section; with Gambit I <more>
felt the same way about the first section of the movie. However when it is revealed these first 25 minutes are just the idealised scenario for a heist played out in Michael Caine's head I had the biggest smile on my face and the reaction of "You clever bastards!". All of a sudden this seemingly boring film became fascinating with the scenario I had just seen played out now occurring again with a welcome sense of realism and with interesting, flawed characters, with much of the humour stemming from the differences between fact and fiction. It reminded of that popular internet meme 'expectation/reality' and came off to me like a satire of sorts on unimaginative writing and characters. Watching the film a second time I can now spot the moment of foreshadowing such as Michael Caine saying to his accomplice "Now pay close attention". Of course it wouldn't be a heist movie without suspense and does the third act deliver, full of nail biting moments and clever solutions.Released in 1966 just prior to the rise of the New Hollywood movement, Gambit sees the final days of that distinctive old Hollywood glamour. Gambit is a very exotic movie at that with Shirley MacLaine being presented in the image of a goddess throughout and even her more common looking attire during the heist at the end is exceedingly stylish. Plus who can look more dapper as a cat burglar than Michael Caine? The back and forth between Caine and MacLaine is pure heaven. There are few other actresses with as playful an on screen persona as Shirley MacLaine while Caine gets annoyed by her giddy, child like attitude. I don't care how many films I see which contain the "the hate each other but secretly love each other" dynamic, as long as it's between a screen pairing with superb chemistry then I'll never tire of seeing it.
Nicole Shirley MacLaine works as a dancer is some shabby night club in Hong Kong. She is approached by Harry Dean Michael Caine , a young cockney thief, who has thought out a brilliant plan to steal an invaluable piece of sculpture. The trick is that Nicole happens to be a spitten image of the late, beloved wife of multimillionaire Ahmad Shahbandar Herbert Lom who owns the sculpture."Gambit" is a consistently entertaining crime comedy with engaging performances from the principal actors. MacLaine in particular is rather impressive as the beautiful accomplice who keeps making <more>
difficult questions but can also be quite resourceful when needed. The plot contains a couple of neat twists and Ronald Neame's direction leaves no dead moments in the film. Also features a pleasing score by Maurice Jarre.
"I suppose this is the end of a beautiful friendship." (by bensonmum2)
From IMDb: "An English cat burglar needs a Eurasian dancer's help to pull off the perfect heist, but even the most foolproof schemes have a way of backfiring."Instead of trying to write my own plot description, I've gone with the one from IMDb. I watched Gambit completely blind and I think everyone deserves that opportunity. Not that I think anyone will read or care what I write, but on the off chance someone does, I don't want to be the cause of any spoilers.As should be obvious by my rating, I absolutely adored Gambit. Just about everything worked perfectly for me. <more>
Director Ronald Neame expertly crafted a film that engrossed and entertained me from beginning to end. The pacing couldn't be better. The film has an unusual structure that I found intriguing. While watching the movie, at about the 30 minute mark, everything you think you understand gets turned upside down. And that's not the last of the plot twists. Gambit's clever script features several well-played swerves that I honestly didn't see coming. It's a fantastic piece of writing. Speaking of fantastic, that describes Shirley McClaine and Michael Caine. The pair have definite chemistry and make the most of it. McClaine is simply mesmerizing during those first 30 minutes I mentioned earlier. The supporting cast is more than capable, with notable performances from John Abbott and Herbert Lom. Technically, I found Gambit flawless - cinematography, set design, music, and costume design McClaine looks absolutely fabulous are all as good as you'll find. I'm not surprised to discover the film's art direction and costume design were nominated for an Oscar. There's really no end to the positives I could write about.My only quibble with Gambit and the thing that keeps me from rating it a 10/10 is the rather suddenness of what I call "the romance stuff". Okay, it's not like I didn't see it coming. It's not a spoiler to say that I knew from the beginning that Caine and McClaine's characters would end up together. But their out-of-the-blue proclamations of love were a bit jarring. Regardless, Gambit is a wonderful movie and one I can't wait to revisit again and again.9/10
Minor fun featuring Shirley MacLaine as a cabaret dancer who gets a chance to become a key player in a major heist masterminded by thief extraordinaire-wannabe Michael Caine. It has lots of twists and surprises, and it's fun, but the sleek, more serious opening moments prepare you for a totally different picture then the one you eventually get. It seems as though this is going to be classy stuff at first, but it's just a daffy live-action cartoon. Energetic though, and the leads work well together. *** from ****
Plot twist after plot twist (by shadock-2)
Note! Minor plot points to be discussed. Proceed at your own risk.One of my favourite genres - the caper movie! In most caper movies, the plan goes perfectly, at least until the heist is over. However, this one is probably unique as the careful plans of our chief thief, Michael Caine, keep going horribly horribly wrong, and right from the beginning to boot. Shirley MacLaine as his female accomplice and Herbert Lom as the "unwitting" victim are allowed their full range of intelligence and emotion as move follows countermove and bad descends to worse. The final plot twist at the end <more>
preserves a happy ending for everyone. Definitely worth a look, if you can find a copy or its playing late night.
I love heist flicks, and this overlooked item delivered the things I like about the best heist flicks: suspense, trickery, a plot twist or two, and humor. This is a dead-on heist/comedy that surprised me with a couple of twists.I've always been a Michael Caine fan, so naturally I'll tell you that his performance here is up to his high standards. I've never really been a Shirley MacClaine fan, though, so it was a surprise to me that she was so good in her role.What kind of summary can I give without giving everything away? Harry Dean Caine has his sights on some loot, but needs a <more>
partner for his scheme. Nicole Chang MacClaine turns out to be everything he hoped for. But he didn't count on her being as clever or as alluring as she turns out to be.8/10