6.9/10
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The Grissom Gang (1971)

Set in the 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 British film No ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Leon Griffiths (screenplay), James Hadley Chase (based on novel by "No Orchids for Miss Blandish")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kim Darby ... Barbara Blandish
Scott Wilson ... Slim Grissom
Tony Musante ... Eddie Hagan
Robert Lansing ... Dave Fenner
Connie Stevens ... Anna Borg
Irene Dailey ... Gladys 'Ma' Grissom
Wesley Addy ... John P. Blandish
Joey Faye Joey Faye ... Woppy
Michael Baseleon ... Frankie Connor
Ralph Waite ... Mace
Hal Baylor ... Chief McLaine
Matt Clark ... Joe Bailey
Alvin Hammer ... Sam
Dots Johnson Dots Johnson ... Johnny Hutchins (as Dotts Johnson)
Don Keefer ... Doc Grissom
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Storyline

Set in the 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 British film No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948). 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1971 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Grissom Bande See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was a particular dislike of UK BBFC censor John Trevelyan, who extensively cut the 1971 cinema release for an "X" certificate (the BBFC website incorrectly lists it as passing without cuts). The 2001 Fremantle DVD release is 15-rated and fully uncut. 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 »


Soundtracks

I Can't Give You Anything but Love
Written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh
Sung by Rudy Vallee
See more »

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User Reviews

 
overlong, pretentious B-movie
30 June 2009 | by winner55See all my reviews

The Grissom Gang should have been a great film. WIth its vicious comic sense, hard-boiled crime story and Gothic overtones, and of course its episodes of wild violence, this would have made a wonderful 80 minute B-movie. Unfortunately, at 125 minutes, it's way overlong. The middle seems to go on and on, during which not much happens beyond the ersatz courting of the kidnap victim by her psycho-hick kidnapper. Within any one scene, the pacing is rather good, creating a tension that leads one on for at least one viewing; but the pacing scene-to-scene is atrocious, and there are a lot of scenes that should have been cut or reduced to mere snippets. The role of the private detective should have been broader, but he doesn't really figure into the story until the final third and by then there's no real reason to get interested in his point of view. The kidnap victim's changes of heart are not well handled, partly because the role is given to Kim Darby, an unattractive actress of limited range. The acting throughout is intentionally over the top, rather as we saw from the AIP gangster films of the same era (eg., St. Valentine's Day Massacre and Bloody Mama), but those films used the broad performances to quicken the pace. Here the saggy pacing allows the camp of the performances to appear unintentional and thus flawed. Aldritch, taking his cue from the imprisonment of the kidnap victim, has given the film a sense of stuffy claustrophobia - most of the film seems to take place in small rooms. If the film were shorter and the drama heightened by more focused performances, this could have been effective, but as it is, one rushes to the window gasping for air after the movie's over. Finally, one has to note the confusing soundtrack which, though original, manages to sound cut-and-paste.

Aldritch can certainly take credit for the best of the film, but he has to take blame for the worst of it as well. He seems to be trying to make James Hadley Chase into another William Faulkner, and I'm afraid that can't be done. Aldritch needed to let Chase be Chase and make a tight slam-bang actioner; if he wanted to do Faulkner's "Sanctuary," he should have bought the rights to that novel instead.


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