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The Grissom Gang (1971)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  2 September 1971 (Italy)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 750 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 16 critic

Set in the 1920s Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the 1948 ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (based on novel by "No Orchids for Miss Blandish")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tony Musante ...
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Irene Dailey ...
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Joey Faye ...
Michael Baseleon ...
Frankie Connor
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Mace
Hal Baylor ...
Chief McLaine
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Sam
Dots Johnson ...
Johnny Hutchins (as Dotts Johnson)
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Storyline

Set in the 1920s Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the 1948 British film "No Orchids for Miss Blandish." Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The psychotic killer, the young heiress...the kidnapping that becomes a love story.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

2 September 1971 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Aima ston dromo  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about thirty-two years after its source novel "No Orchids for Miss Blandish" by James Hadley Chase had been first published in 1939. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Hagan: How come you never get your ass out of bed?
Anna Borg: Well, it's the place you seem to like it the most.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE GRISSOM GANG (Robert Aldrich, 1971) ***
28 June 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Given its considerable reputation, it seems incredible to me that I've had this film on VHS for over a decade but only now have I gotten round to watching it! Actually, I opted to have a go at it finally after having just watched another James Hadley Chase adaptation - CRIME ON A SUMMER MORNING (1965) - the previous day...but also because, distressingly, many VHS tapes I've had for a very long time are starting to rot on me!!

Made in the wake of the gangster-film revival spawned by the runaway success of BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967), it can also be seen as a companion piece to Roger Corman's BLOODY MAMA (1970). The film was much criticized at the time for its violence - coming in what is perhaps the cinema's most notorious year, with the likes of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE DEVILS, DIRTY HARRY, GET CARTER and STRAW DOGS! - but its gallery of grotesques is at least just as disagreeable!! It doesn't really have any sympathetic characters, but "The Grissom Gang" itself is such a lurid menagerie of harridans, dimwits and sleazeballs that one would doubtless need a shower after having spent two hours in this company! For what it's worth, the film is extremely well made (compelling, richly-detailed, exceptionally acted) and even very funny if one is attuned to the director's uniquely absurdist and delirious mind-set.

Still, its general unwholesomeness may well have curtailed Kim Darby's cinematic career - though here she demonstrates remarkable maturity when compared to her fresh-faced sparring with John Wayne in TRUE GRIT (1969). Scott Wilson's role is perhaps the best he ever had (even keeping in mind his impeccable work in both IN COLD BLOOD [1967] and THE NINTH CONFIGURATION [1980]) - though his dumb backwoods hoodlum, alternating between mother-fixation and drooling over Darby, eventually overstays its welcome. Irene Dailey's relentlessly overwrought performance as Ma Grissom (needless to say, the actress' most significant role), then, borders on camp and matches Shelley Winters in BLOODY MAMA. Tony Musante embodies the stylish side of crime with his chic attire and playboy ways, who's bound to clash with Wilson over attractive kidnapped heiress Darby. Also notable in the cast are Connie Stevens as Musante's ill-fated moll, Robert Lansing as the journalist investigating the kidnapping case and Wesley Addy as Darby's contemptuous father (who considers her 'tainted' by the experience and actually doesn't want her back!).

The finale, then, with the majority of the gang decimated at their hide-out - followed by Wilson's come-uppance outside a barn (after having spent the night with Darby for the last time) is appropriately vivid. By the way, the novel on which this is based had been filmed in Britain in 1948 under its original title, "No Orchids For Miss Blandish", but that version is only remembered - if at all - for how bad it actually was!


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