Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- The Italian Job
|09.14.05||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: QT6|
For the midnight movie, QT played a non-Italian sort-of crime, mostly-spy movie starring Oliver Reed and an old Richard Widmark. This movie was directed by the guy who did the original Italian Job as well as tons of others I haven't seen (yet). One of the special things about this screening is that QT is missing a reel of it. So like, 10 minutes are just not there. What's funny is that QT said he'd seen it so much like this that he not only doesn't miss it but also never really wants to see that missing reel even if he had the option because one of the great mysteries of the movies for him would be answered with that reel. Basically, Widmark is "retired" CIA and lives in Isreal with a hot wife. Oliver Reed, a former student of Widmark's has defected to Moscow but now, caught in the middle of some high-end tomfoolery on both sides, has basically the entire world wanting to kill him. So he shows up and Widmark has to take him in and figure it all out. The thing is, it's pretty blatant that Reed and the hot wife had been together before she was with Widmark and the movie starts, but what QT always wonders is that if Reed hooks back up with her in that missing reel. There's one scene in particular which would have two completely different tones and meanings depending on that fact... so he threw that out as something to think about while we watched.
Personally, I didn't even realize a reel was missing. I guess it was reel 2 so it was pretty close to the beginning but there were certainly no HUGE logic or plot jumps so I really didn't think anything of it, but it is interesting that it gives us license to wonder back and forth. Beforehand, QT said that to show a film that's missing a reel and still charge for it must be taken as a sign that he still likes it the way it is, which i would agree with.
Personally, i like to think that they did get together... the hot wife part is such a femme fatale role that having her cheat on her man is just one more twist of that screw. Maybe she actually didn't but she definitely at least thought about it.
Again, there is awesome music going on, as there was in both Death Rage and No Way Out. Whenever that bass drum/hi-hat gets rolling, you know it's on.
There's also one stand-out sequence where they end up driving through a minefield. Some great shots of them almost blowing themselves up. Widmark, although old and ironically looking much more like a nice guy than he ever did when he was young, has a scene here and there where he shows that he can still slap around women or push grandmothers down stairs if need be, and Oliver Reed's performance is just... well, bizarre. His readings are soo strange, man. It makes it interesting but also pretty absurd. I bet he was on drugs.
In the end, it was a fun little movie but it couldn't hope to top my experience with No Way Out.