I Saw A Film!

A low-end grifter, and pick-pocket (the dude from the old Reincarnation of Peter Proud) teams up with a cute young woman and attempt to make some change by ripping off random people. Eventually they find themselves in the company of more professional team pick-pockets headed up by old Walter Pidgeon, snorting coke, and his partner, practicing his gruffest personality, James Coburn. Though Coburn softens a bit as he finds himself sweet on the young Trish Van Devere (who I remember from nothing, but IMDB mentions The Changeling).

And they’re off, sitting at tables, talking tough about the rules. Coburn puts up with no resistance. It must be as they say or go home. Really, it’s hard to imagine this operation working, but I suppose it’s because I’m a bit naive about the quick public action of stalling a mark, and then reaching into pockets to lift wallets and whatnot. It’s not the most exciting story, and so much of the tale takes place like a kind of Kung-fu movie in which the old master must train the new acolyte in the methods of the arts. A dummy with a jacket and bells over the pocket replaces the balls Mako would throw at Jackie Chan. We’re also relying a bit on our lass showing off her legs a bit, but not enough to make the thing sexually interesting.

And so, the odd part of the film, as we’re taken around to Salt Lake City, and other locales and we watch our protagonists steal from innocent people (though, at times the innocence is chipped at a bit), is that psychopathic lack of concern about ripping people off. There’s little in the way of introspection. I wouldn’t say the life is glamorous at all, and it is inflected with a thieves’ general distrust. Our young lady slides in easily with Coburn’s gruff character, and we don’t explore much in the way of further philosophical understanding of their lives. There’s no ultimate goal they are striving toward, no big heist and then get a boat. At one point, our young acolyte mentions marriage to Trish, but she’s not exactly keen.

Of course they run up against the law, and seem impossibly blinded to getting caught. First their elderly teacher is picked up and due to the cocaine habit is well detained. It’s only a matter of time after that.

This is running free on Prime and might be interesting for those curious about a life of old school wallet lifting. Incidentally the poster doesn’t really represent the actual film, these ladies aren’t in the movie, and there’s almost zero sexy stuff.

3 thoughts on “Harry In Your Pocket (1973)

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