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The Squeeze More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Great series of twists at the end

Author: udar55 from Williamsburg, VA
18 September 2006

This Italian produced, NYC lensed heist picture is actually quite entertaining with a few nice twists. Retired safe cracker Chris Gretchko (Lee Van Cleef) is lured to a job by the son (Edward Albert) of an ex-buddy. He flies to NYC and finds out he will be lifting $1 million in diamonds for a shady German group. It all goes smoothly until he learns that the group has plans to kill the second he has the safe open. Directed by Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony Dawson), this flick benefits from a clever script, great performances and evocative locations in New York. Van Cleef is his usual gruff self and he plays most scenes off Albert or hippie chick/life saver Karen Black. Lionel Stander appears as Gretchko's old-time fence. Supporting roles include Peter Carsten as the German mob boss, Ron Van Clief as some karate chopping muscle and soon to be character actor Roy Brocksmith (the bald, fat guy from TOTAL RECALL) as the guy who gets ripped off.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Lee Van Cleef & Karen Black - What a Pair!!!

Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
18 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

- A retired safecracker (Lee Van Cleef) is lured out of retirement by the son of one of his buddies who is in trouble. The job - steal a load of diamonds from a warehouse safe. Things go terribly wrong. Van Cleef is wounded and everyone else is dead. Now, Van Cleef must elude the man who set-up the job, the man who owns the warehouse, and the police. It seems that Van Cleef's only ally is a crazy woman (Karen Black) who is the only other resident in an abandoned apartment building.

- Over the years I've noticed that when the material he's faced with isn't first rate, Lee Van Cleef can overact with the best of them. And that's what he does here. There are many scenes where Van Cleef makes some of the most ridiculous faces for no purposes other than overemphasizing his point. It get very distracting. But in The Squeeze, he's outdone by Karen Black. She chews scenery like her life depended upon it. I just had to laugh a couple of times (inappropriate times) because it was all too funny. I suppose that most of the blame for the acting weaknesses could be traced directly to the script. The characters are given some really lame lines.

- The story itself is quite nice. There's one double-cross after the next. The ending really caught me off guard. Just when I thought I had things figured out, I was hit with another loop. The plot is the primary reason I've rated this movie as I have. If you're a fan of heist films, much of The Squeeze will appeal to you.

- I would be remiss if, even in this short review, I didn't mention the soundtrack. The music is pure (bad) 70s disco. The main theme song is especially annoying and presents everything that was wrong with music from this period. Even worse, it's stuck in my head - Oh the Pain!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fairly taut

Author: hengir from London, England
5 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lee Van Cleef plays an ex burglar who comes out of retirement from his ranch at the request of the son of a friend to do one more last job. Things don't go as planned. It sounds a standard kind of film but a few things lift it above mere ordinariness.

It is mostly filmed in New York and the city does look atmospheric, lively but seedy as befits the plot. The plot itself has surprising twists and turns and your suspension of disbelief is mainly determined by the acting, principally the kookiness of Karen Black and the charm of Edward Albert. If you believe in their characters then the ending of the film packs quite a wallop. It did me anyway. The two veteran actors, Lee Van Cleef and Lionel Stander ease into their roles very well. Van Cleef was not a great film actor but in this kind of film is fine. He is very creditable as an ex-criminal as the God of Cinema blessed him with a villainous looking face.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

One last job...

Author: Sorsimus from Kaarina, Finland
21 October 2002

Lee Van Cleef at his most facially challenged plays a retired safeman, who comes back from Mexico to New York to do one job for a friend's kid.

Includes most of the cliches one would expect from a "last gig"- film, but redeems itself with nice NY locations, comedy (some intentional) and Lee Van Cleef. Recommended as a time- passer.

Released on video in Finland in the eighties.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Thoroughly enjoyable cheese

Author: kingdaevid from Phoenix, Arizona, USA
8 September 2003

...there's quite a bit to dislike in THE RIP-OFF (as the Goodtimes Home Video VHS release tagged this movie): Karen Black overacts hysterically (as do several of the dubbed German supporting players), Edward Albert looks like he was on a margarine diet during shooting, and whoever mixed the substandard musical score into the soundtrack should have been executed. But Lee Van Cleef, Lionel Stander and Robert Alda all perform well above the call of this duty; the dialogue is frequently witty, highlighting a generally intriguing premise (Van Cleef is lured back from pseudonymous exile as a Mexican rancher to perform one last safecracking job in order to keep New York gangsters from killing Albert); and the cheap 16mm location cinematography of New York in early January is oddly compelling. As things go for what's usually termed "European Trash Cinema," this is a nice little curd of cheese worthy of dropping five bucks on at better Wal-Marts everywhere...

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Okay film never really comes together

Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
26 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Edward Albert tracks down a friend of his father's, Lee Van Cleef, and tells him that he's in trouble and needs his help as a safe cracker to get out of it. Van Cleef agrees and soon is in the middle of crosses and double crosses. Okay New York City set crime drama is a bit too slack for my tastes. Other than during the occasional moment the film is never truly griping as sequences seem to work in pieces but not as a whole. The robbery for example seems run of the mill until there are a couple of twists towards the end. Part of the problem is that the film trades off many of its characters in such away that we're not sure who the film is about. Is it Van Cleef? Is it Albert? What of Karen Black, highly billed but not showing up until about half way into the film.The film seems to be making it up as it goes along. Yes there are twists which work for a while, but at the same time I'm going to guess that you'll have worked out the ending some time in the final fifteen or twenty minutes. Worth a look if you run a cross it, but not worth going out of your way to see.(The New York street scenes are great if you like seeing how the city used to be)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

When good times go bad

Author: Chris. from Australia
15 May 2013

Highly entertaining Antonio Margheriti heist film stars Lee Van Cleef as the self-assured former safe-cracker lured into one last job for the sake of the son (Albert) of a former close associate. Only problem is Albert is apparently in over his head and various sinister interests are pitted against one another as the heist goes fatally awry.

Bares more than a little resemblance to "The Mechanic" in many respects, but that's not to say it doesn't hold up in its own right with a few neat plot twists and turns to keep you guessing. Van Cleef is well supported by Albert as the young buck with a plan to steal millions in diamonds from flamboyant crook Roy Brocksmith (in his film debut), while the 'black fist of fury' Ron Van Clief has a prominent supporting role as one of Brocksmith's goons, showcasing his karate talents in one memorable fight scene.

Karen Black's role conveys more depth than it appears, and its really her presence that suggests this crime-caper is better than the average tripe. Her role brings an entirely different dimension to the picture, and more importantly, adds a very satisfying and memorable plot twist to savour. Great cast, plenty of violence and explosions typical of a Margheriti picture, shouldn't be easily dismissed.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Thoughtful and Intense

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
22 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a pretty highly paced heist movie with lots of surprises. Maybe there are too many. Still, the acting is pretty good. The plot to steal a bunch of diamonds moves toward its natural end, with more than a few people interested in their location. Lee Van Cleef, whose name I know, but can't remember why, is the sober master safe cracker who is enlisted to do the heist. His associates are all greedy and no one can be trusted. He knows this and even when danger is around every corner, he seems to get there first. There are several good action sequences. The role played by Karen Black (whom I never could stand) is pretty dynamic. Unfortunately for her character, there is little motivation other than what is finally revealed, so it's all part of a grand plan. If you don't expect too much, this will keep you engaged.

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Burglar Lee Van Cleef contends with gang members after a successful diamond heist

Author: msroz from United States
19 October 2014

"The Squeeze" (1978) is not a comedy, as IMDb says, not that some of the characters do not have a sense of humor. This movie is a 70s crime story through and through.

Unlike quite a few reviewers here, I found this movie to be very good, very enjoyable, well-scripted, well-acted and well-directed. I didn't find the music at all bad. The locations concentrate on the unglamorous, darker or grittier side of New York City. The story focuses almost all on the criminals, with some small portion allotted to Robert Alda and the police, but they are too late with too little. The story has surprising twists and double crosses that add a great deal. Its main negative, if it can even be called that, is that the action slows down in the middle part. Lee Van Cleef carries the whole movie, and is a pleasure to watch. He's a retired safecracker, lured back into "opening doors" by Edward Albert (Junior) who is working with German hoods led by Peter Carsten. Van Cleef makes use of pawnbroker and old pal Lionel Stander. Karen Black plays a 26-year old who, among other things, removes a bullet from Van Cleef's leg. If "The Outfit" is 70s noir, then so is this movie, dealing as it does with the aftermath of a heist in the spirit of "The Asphalt Jungle". The heist itself comes near the start of the story, and it's staged nicely. As in many such stories, the key element is trust. Whom can a thief trust in a gang that's come together only for this big job?

I watched a print that was probably near 1.66:1. It was not pan and scan. It had some black bars above and below. It was adequate and not at all a problem.

There's one explosion and fire sequence that's tremendous. It looks absolutely real.

Van Cleef gives a great and mature performance here. Edward Albert was coming off another very good performance of his in "The Greek Tycoon". Karen Black already had behind her "Family Plot" and "The Day of the Locust"and many other films she had been since 1960. It shows in her skilled handling of her part. Lionel Stander and Robert Alda were, of course, very experienced pros.

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Will squeeze your patience

Author: Wizard-8 from Victoria, BC
16 February 2013

After the spaghetti western craze in Italy died out in the mid-1970s, Lee Van Cleef still found himself wanted by Italian filmmakers for several years afterwards, "The Squeeze" being one of his post-westerns. Although Van Cleef was in his 50s when this movie was made, he still had the stuff that made him a star, and he gives a solid performance here. Another good performance in the movie comes from Karen Black, who is pretty convincing as a kind of ditzy neighbor who enters the life of Van Cleef's character. The movie also has better than average production values for an Italian production for the time, with on-location filming in New York City that gives the movie an authentic feeling at times. However, despite all this good stuff, the movie is still somewhat of a struggle to watch. It's very talky, with long stretches with nothing happening. A few more action sequences would have helped considerably. There are a couple of twists in the final few minutes, but it's too little too late. In short, the movie is probably only for die hard fans of Lee Van Cleef during an unusually slow night.

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