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Gambit (1966)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Thriller | 7 January 1967 (USA)
An English cat burglar needs a Eurasian dancer's help to pull off the perfect heist, but even the most foolproof schemes have a way of backfiring.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Ram
...
Abdul
...
Emile Fournier
Richard Angarola ...
Colonel Salim
Maurice Marsac ...
Hotel Clerk
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Storyline

Cockney cat burglar Harry Dean needs Hong Kong dancer Nicole Chang's help to pull off the perfect heist. With a simple makeover and a new wardrobe; Nicole's resemblance to wealthy recluse Mr. Shahbandar's late wife is uncanny. While Shahbandar is distracted by the mesmerizing Nicole, Harry takes steps to swipe a priceless artifact from under the tycoon's nose. But even the most foolproof schemes have a way of backfiring... Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Alfie" Meets Shirley See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

7 January 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ladrón burlado  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A "gambit" is a chess tactic where a player sacrifices a piece to get a more advantageous position in the game. See more »

Goofs

When Nicole and Harry arrive at Dammuz and are about to be picked up by a limo, the shadows reveal that there is no aircraft, just the stairs. See more »

Quotes

Nicole Chang: You can't tell the crooks from the good guys anymore.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Gambit (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable Romantic Comedy Caper Film
22 March 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

In the 1960s Hollywood combined the classic "caper" film with a healthy dose of romantic comedy. The result was a series of charming films such as CHARADE (1963) and HOW TO STEAL A MILLION (1966)--films that combined major stars, clever plots, witty scripts and which balanced suspense with comic and romantic complications.

Made in 1966 and released in 1967, GAMBIT was among the last of these films, and like all others in the genre it had a complex plot. Ahmad Shahbandar (Herbert Lom) is quite possibly the richest man in the world and a recluse to boot, a man who has never gotten over the death of his beautiful Eurasian wife some twenty years ago. Harry Dean (Michael Caine) devises a clever plan to gain access to his luxury apartment and rob him blind: he will use honky-tonk dancer Nicole Chang (Shirley MacLaine), who bears a striking resemblance to Shahbandar's long dead wife, to breach Shahbandar's defenses.

There's only one problem: it won't work. To tell exactly why it won't work is to betray the plot, which is extremely clever; suffice to say that Dean has made a number of incorrect assumptions about both the situation and the personalities involved. When the plot begins to twist, it does so in a truly unexpected way, taking both Dean and the audience completely by surprise.

This is the sort of film that Hollywood used to do so well but which we seldom see today, a frothy, glamorous confection with first rate production values and expert performances from major stars. MacLaine gets top billing, and she is quite fine, but the weight of the film rests on Caine and Lom, who give memorably dry performances, and director Ronald Neame (who was responsible for a host of memorable films including THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE) keeps everything moving along at a smart pace with plenty of style.

This may not be the best of the genre--I think both CHARADE and HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, to name but two, outpace it. But even so it is a perfectly charming film, the perfect antidote to a drab afternoon. Just add popcorn! GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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