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Based on a true story, details the daring 1964 theft of the J.P. Morgan jewel collection from New York's American Museum of Natural History. Called the "Greatest Jewel Heist of the 20th Century," the robbers took 22 precious gems, including the Star of India, the 100.32-carat de Long Ruby and the 16.25-carat Eagle Diamond, stones so famous they would be impossible to sell. Written by
This film was not easy to find, and compounded with the 3 different titles it had, it basically destined itself to obscurity. "Murph The Surf" does not exactly scream, marquee mangetism. This film manages to wedge its greasy fingers into a few different pies. It bounces from true story mystique to cheap TV drama, and then tries to inject flawed interpersonal relationships into the mix. The lack of story cohesion goes a long way to confuse and disinterest the viewer.
The film is surprisingly well shot, and has a budget that's not evident in other AIP films. The production team went a long way to prove that these two playboys are brazen beyond belief. But the acting ranges between wooden and soap-opera emoting. The story makes these characters impossible to believe; nobody is bashful about the fact that they're jewel thieves, and the life they live only barely scrapes the bedrock of reality. The scene where Murph starts to have second thoughts in the museum is probably the deepest any character in the film gets. It seems fair that the idea was to show how soulless the central characters lives were, however without some subtlety it merely comes off cold. In other words, boring.
There's a pretty good boat chase in the film, and a few worthwhile scenes where your interest is almost heightened, but other than that it's unfortunate and hard to watch.
It's a disposable 70's heist movie, eclipsed by many better ones. I guess there's a reason why this stuff only remains on late-nite pay TV.
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