I Saw A Film!
Here’s the film from which they lifted the iconic Tom Cruise dangling from a rope stealing precious stuff in a vault for the Mission Impossible reboot. This elderly film, I daresay is actually more fun, more stylish and definitely more refined than any similar, too serious and too deadly, modern take on a jewel heist. Of course, it’s meant as a comedy, but in that sixties aura of folks just being too stinking cool for actual worry. They work out the plans, they practice, but all the while they’re poised and coiffed and slick. Max Schell is the mastermind along with the cringy Melina Mercouri. Her raspy voice and mature persuasion are a bit over the top, but screw it, it’s 1964 and her styles are now popular again, excessively drawn cat eyes are just the thang. I’m not sure if smoker’s rasp ever was though.
Lots of great scenery of old South Europe, Greece and Turkey. Very fun to look at. Plus there’s a huge authentic wrestling event. By authentic I mean the fellows are all ages, all shapes, wearing leather trousers and covered in olive oil. Lots of traditional hugs and kisses.
Ustinov is very good in this. He’s clever, funny, has most of the best lines, and manages, despite his reluctance to be the key player in the whole game. Which, frankly, seemed given away right from the start. But then, maybe I missed some of the spice that this thing was arranged from. The tech is badly dated of course, but we rely too much on that stuff for modern films anyway. Better to play with the color saturation and rely on scenes and poses. OK I sound a cynic, but honestly the characters are better than the robbery fantasy.
That’s my take anyway, if you want fun slick and old school, and often copied, this is where to go. Free on Prime in USA.