IMDb > Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966)
Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round
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Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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Bernard Girard (written by)
View company contact information for Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1966 (Brazil) See more »
The slickest swingin'est con man who ever took the world for a ride!
A paroled conman co-ordinates the robbery of an L. A. Airport bank with the arrival of the Russians Premier. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Golden Globe. See more »
User Reviews:
DEAD HEAT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND (Bernard Girard, 1966) ** See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

James Coburn ... Eli Kotch

Camilla Sparv ... Inger Knudson

Aldo Ray ... Eddie Hart
Nina Wayne ... Frieda Schmid

Robert Webber ... Milo Stewart

Rose Marie ... Margaret Kirby
Todd Armstrong ... Alfred Morgan

Marian McCargo ... Dr. Marion Hague (as Marian Moses)

Michael Strong ... Paul Feng
Severn Darden ... Miles Fisher
James Westerfield ... Jack Balter
Phillip Pine ... George Logan (as Phillip E. Pine)
Simon Scott ... William Anderson
Ben Astar ... General Mailenkoff
Michael St. Angel ... Captain William Yates
Larry D. Mann ... Officer Howard (as Lawrence Mann)
Alex Rodine ... Translator
Al Nalbandian ... Willie Manus (as Albert Nalbandian)
Tyler McVey ... Lyman Mann
Roy Glenn ... Sergeant Elmer K. Coxe
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wolfe Barzell ... Red Thompson (uncredited)
Paul Birch ... Bill Simpson (uncredited)
Pepe Callahan ... Aztec Airlines Dispatcher (uncredited)
Joey Faye ... Joe (uncredited)
Abel Fernandez ... Aztec Airlines Attendant (uncredited)

Harrison Ford ... Bellhop Pager (uncredited)
Bobby Gilbert ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Stephanie Hill ... Janice Brown (uncredited)
Harry Holcombe ... Warden (uncredited)
Rex Holman ... First Inmate Being Counselled (uncredited)
Tanya Lemani ... Belly Dancer (uncredited)

Steve London ... Airline Clerk (uncredited)
Joseph Mell ... Undertaker (uncredited)
William Phipps ... Kleiner (uncredited)
Mike Ragan ... Cop at Airport (uncredited)
Sabrina Scharf ... Girl in Bed with Eli (uncredited)
Justin Smith ... Mr. Robin (uncredited)

Vic Tayback ... Denver Police Detective Merchant (uncredited)
Lorna Thayer ... Passenger on Mexico Flight (uncredited)
Vincent Van Lynn ... Detective (uncredited)
George Wallace ... Police chief Captain Yates (uncredited)
Mary Young ... Mrs. Galbrace (uncredited)

Directed by
Bernard Girard 
Writing credits
Bernard Girard (written by)

Produced by
Carter DeHaven .... producer
Original Music by
Stu Phillips 
Cinematography by
Lionel Lindon (director of photography)
Film Editing by
William A. Lyon  (as William Lyon)
Art Direction by
Walter M. Simonds 
Set Decoration by
Frank Tuttle 
Makeup Department
Virginia Jones .... hair stylist
Ben Lane .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Mike Frankovich Jr. .... unit production manager (as M. Frankovich Jr.)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Kissell .... assistant director (as William Kissel)
Sound Department
Charles J. Rice .... sound supervisor
J.S. Westmoreland .... sound (as Josh Westmoreland)
Editorial Department
Ralph James Hall .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Chris Haynes .... driver (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:104 min
Color (Pathécolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Pre-release/working title was "Eli Kotch."See more »
Frieda Schmid:You have to admit that since we disagree on everything, we have a lot in common.See more »


Midwest Premiere Happened When and Where?
See more »
5 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
DEAD HEAT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND (Bernard Girard, 1966) **, 27 September 2008
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

To call this would-be 'with it' caper comedy muddled is a gross understatement – indeed, Bernard Girard the director should have fired Bernard Girard the writer because an admittedly ingenious premise has only resulted in a relentlessly dull movie! Hero James Coburn, with a permanent grin on his face, is involved in so many schemes on his way to rob Los Angeles' LAX airport (which brought back memories of my stay in the city three years ago, extending to the similarity of hotel interiors): in fact, he dupes a variety of people during the course of the narrative – including lovely leading lady Camilla Sparv (already ex-Mrs. Robert Evans by the time the film was released and who won a Golden Globe for Best Newcomer, over Candice Bergen and Lynn Redgrave[!], even if her career seemed to wither soon after); consequently, it's all needlessly (indeed painfully) stretched to 107 minutes!

To add to the confusion (not to say dejection), we get a dreary subplot revolving around the visit of a Russian official to the United States and the elaborate (though not always successful) security measures American agencies – led by Robert Webber and assisted by an impossibly youthful Todd Armstrong (from the Ray Harryhausen opus JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS [1963]!) – have to undertake for this purpose. As with many films of its ilk from this 'anything goes' era, the title is a reference to nothing in particular – to be sure, it surfaces in the plot as the name of a book ostensibly written by Coburn (under one of the innumerable aliases he hides behind); again, typically, the criminals (also including Aldo Ray in an underwritten part) are allowed to get away with it…though there's a nice ironic final twist when the author – who has unaccountably gone 'missing' but, apparently, truly existed – is found to have left his vast fortune to bewildered 'bride' Sparv!

This was my third effort from its little-known director in a relatively brief period of time – the first was intriguing but invincibly low-key, THE MIND SNATCHERS (1972), the second a Godawful (and barely-released) Western spoof called GONE WITH THE WEST (1975); the "Leonard Maltin Film Guide", then, awards DEAD HEAT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND a very respectable *** – hence, it ranks as yet another disappointment! Incidentally, the star made innumerable films in this vein during the 1960s and 1970s – where his narcissistic and arrogant personality comes off as overbearing and, therefore, alienating: up next, in fact, is DUFFY (1968) which, despite rating an even lower *1/2, it's one I'd long been curious about in view of its rather interesting credentials…

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