|06.24.07||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: Half-Ass-A-Thon|
Next Harry introduced this movie and the only reason he gave for programming it was liking fat actors. Personally, a little more set-up could've helped me tremendously with this film. Had I known upfront that it was a Jules Dassin movie for instance, I would've found the interplay between the traditional caper genre with gaudy Italian broad comedy more interesting instead of thinking it was just a weird Greek or Italian knock-off of Rififi. Maybe it's my problem for not knowing Dassin directed? Since the only person to clap when Harry asked who'd seen it was one dude who yelled "Zero Mostel rules!" I kinda think I wasn't alone in needing some more information. (FYI, clapping guy, Zero Mostel is not in this movie. The two fat guys Harry vaguely mentioned as "doing their best work" are Peter Ustinov and Akim Tamiroff).
So the crowd was kind of sluggish for this one. The long silent sequences where they pull off the heist made the thumping music from next door all the more evident (I could even hear the lyrics to Magic Carpet Ride). Between the music and the lack of crowd response and Harry's squeeky wheels taking him out of the theater for half hours at a time, the film was pretty tough to stay engaged with.
Ultimately I think I liked it though. The main Italian (or whatever nationality) woman was pretty rough and the thought of her being a nymphomaniac was more disturbing than erotic, and I never really got into Tamiroff's schtick, but I loved Ustinov's performance and am a sucker for heist flicks anyway. Again I have to thank Harry for showing this because I'd never track it down on my own but I appreciate having seen it.