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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Deadfall (1968)

A recovering alcoholic and jewel thief (Michael Caine) is recruited by a mysterious woman (Giovanna Ralli) and her homosexual husband (Eric Portman) to help them in a dangerous jewel heist. But when he and the woman become lovers (with her husband's knowledge), things become even more complex as the trio head toward tragedy. A stylish and elegant heist thriller handsomely shot in Spain by Gerry Turpin (SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON) and directed with aplomb by Bryan Forbes. The film's big set piece comes midway into the film. A mansion break in and robbery intercut with a concert. The concert piece Romance For Guitar And Orchestra plays in the concert hall but it also acts as an underscore to the robbery as Forbes goes back and forth between the concert and the robbery. Having reached its highpoint so early, the film struggles for the next hour until it is saved at the last moment by its forlorn conclusion. The film has a bit of fat however. The playgirl played by Nanette Newman has no place in the film (unless it was an excuse for Forbes to give his wife a job) and clogs up the narrative unnecessarily. The superb score is by John Barry (who also appears in the film conducting the concert). With Vladek Sheybal and Renata Tarrago.

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