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Involved crime drama about an intricate plan to rob an airport bank. Watch for the surprise ending and look quickly for a barely-recognizable Harrison Ford in his film debut, playing a bellhop. Written by
In retrospect, I'll bet that when I bought this on DVD a few years ago, it had been re-released because of Harrison Ford's uncredited screen debut as a Bellboy (Although he was 23 when DEAD HEAT was filmed, he does look like a 19 year old "boy"!) Ahhhh, There's the Rub! The FORD debut is precisely the reason I decided to purchase it! Well, also because I had seen it twice during its theatrical release at the age of 18 and enjoyed it immensely.
Recently, I began compiling a list ."Movies that stand the test of time!", and I can assure you, most whole-heartedly, DEAD HEAT won't be on it!!! This film is extremely dated, both in thematic and in stylistic terms. Even the dialog is peppered with terms you probably haven't heard in ages, like "The FUZZ", for example! (For those of you under 50, "The Police")
Although, as usual, James Coburn's screen persona is delightful to watch, there are quite a few occurrences depicted here that stretch suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Perhaps not so much way back in 1966, but certainly now, nearly half a century later! Coburn's character, Eli Kotch, seems to be 100% impervious to Murphy's Law. Everything goes exactly his way, every single time! In Spanish we say, "Mucha Pelicula!", ."Just TOO much Movie"! Despite some real heavyweight talent in the cast, like Aldo Ray, Robert Webber and Rose Marie, the mostly lackluster dialog makes for rather non-memorable performances all around. DEAD HEAT does have a number of interesting moments sprinkled through its 100+ minute duration, but for a 2015 viewing, I would hesitate to recommend it other than to viewers pining for a little mid-60's Nostalgia!
Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
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