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
Clever and diverting heist caper with excellent leads...
MICHAEL CAINE was hot after appearing in THE IPCRESS FILE and SHIRLEY MacLAINE grabbed him for her leading man in GAMBIT. It's a highly entertaining and very clever crime caper and is Caine's first American film. It benefits from highly polished production values and Ronald Neame's expert direction, not to mention a story that has several unexpected twists.
Aside from excellent performances by the two stars and Herbert Lom as the intended victim, the plot will keep you guessing until the final moments. Shirley is a knockout in her oriental disguise and delivers a wonderful performance as the girl who discovers she prefers an honest man to a thief, no matter how much she let herself be tricked into the role of a charming look-alike for Herbert Lom's former wife. The trick is to get into his lavish digs so she and Michael can see the layout and devise a plan to steal a prized sculpture. Herbert Lom is urbane and sophisticated as a man who is highly suspicious of his new acquaintances.
If you like crime capers or jewel heists, this is for you. Diverting from start to finish with a particularly good opening sequence that sort of sets you up for a different kind of film than this actually is. But saying more than that would give too much away.
My only complaint--Maurice Jarre's score is a skimpy one. He provides some light and catchy melodies for the lighter scenes but fails to deliver the goods for the film's darker moments. Maybe he figured the audience would just be holding their breath while silence accompanied the cat-like burglar approach rather than music. Whatever, the darker moments would have been heightened by a more suspenseful score.
John Abbott is seen to advantage as a French sculptor devoted to his art.
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