Dr. Anansa Linderby is kidnapped in a medical mission in Africa by a slave trader. From this moment, her husband will do anything to recover her and to punish the bad guys, but that will be not an easy task.
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
The first draft of the screenplay was written by Bryan Forbes in 1960, when the story was designed as a vehicle for Cary Grant. He eventually dropped out of the project, which subsequently underwent many changes. It was eventually decided to make the girl the central character, and Shirley Maclaine was signed for the lead. After seeing The Ipcress File (1965), she suggested Michael Caine as her leading man, which led to still more rewriting, to accommodate his working-class cockney persona. See more »
Abdul would surely have noticed the chair propping open the door. See more »
I just watched this again, after a period of many years; I think that I must have seen it in its original release, and it would have seemed wildly glamorous and exotic at the time. Its always been a favorite of mine; I love it when MacLaine finally opens her mouth and starts talking, and the entire story tilts and veers off in an amusingly different direction.
So very many things could have gone wrong with this production, and MacLaine could have completely overwhelmed it. Miraculously, everything stays in harness and no scenery gets chewed (as opposed to, say, "Topkapi", which although fun goes completely over the top, and where Mercouri lustily devours everything in sight). Caine and MacLaine were both in their early 30's at the time, and MacLaine gets away with photographing much younger. Its one of the earliest of her films where she got top billing; she had been making a series of Hollywood big-budget bombs, and I suspect that this somewhat modest entry kind of redeemed her. Its great straight entertainment.
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