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Gambit (2012)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime | 21 November 2012 (UK)
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An art curator decides to seek revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Monet, but his plan requires the help of an eccentric and unpredictable Texas rodeo queen.

Director:

Michael Hoffman

Writers:

Joel Coen (screenplay), Ethan Coen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Harry Deane
Tom Courtenay ... The Major
Alan Rickman ... Lionel Shabandar
Mike Noble Mike Noble ... Gunboy
Brodie Ross Brodie Ross ... Shabandar's Shoot Servant
Alex Macqueen ... Mr Dunlop
Joe Berryman ... Gas Station Cashier
Ralph Alderman Ralph Alderman ... Rodeo PA Man
Cameron Diaz ... PJ Puznowski
Terry Dale Parks ... Cowboy 1 (Merle) (as Terence Parks)
Russ Dillen Russ Dillen ... Cowboy 2
Cloris Leachman ... Grandma Merle
Sarah Goldberg ... Executive Wilson
Obi Abili Obi Abili ... Executive Slazenger
Anna Skellern ... Fiona (Secretary)
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Storyline

Curator Harry Deane (Colin Firth) is an expert in fine art, but he's equally accomplished in taking abuse from his insolent boss Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman). That's about to change. The plan, trick the avid art collector into buying a fake Monet painting. To assist in the heist, Deane hires rowdy Texas cowgirl P.J. Puznowski (Cameron Diaz) to help him fool the richest man in England. But as the plan begins to unravel, Deane finds he is falling in love with the rodeo Queen, ensuing further complications.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge is a work of art. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content, partial nudity and a rude gesture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

21 November 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Гамбит See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Aniston was considered for the role of P.J. Puznowski. See more »

Goofs

The stunt double used for PJ in the calf roping scene is heavier than Cameron Diaz. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Major: [narrating] This is the story of my brave, foolish friend Harry Deane. Mr. Deane's work as a art curator in London had gone, he felt, largely unappreciated. He told me of countless insults suffered at the hands of his employer, Lionel Shabandar, media tycoon, art collector, and an absolute brute of a fellow.
Lionel Shabandar: [covered in mud] Do not touch my person! You, idiot...
Man: Yes, my lord.
Lionel Shabandar: ...give me your boot.
The Major: [narrating] Forty years ago I'd have called this Shabandar a cad. Now the prevailing ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over cartoon characters performing odd actions with artwork and elevators. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Die Hard (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Birthday Happy
Performed by Robby Armstrong
Written by Robby Armstrong and Darrell Brown
Published by Robby Armstrong Music & Grey Ink Music
Admin by Kobalt
Master courtesy of Seeding Stars Inc
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite good really
22 November 2012 | by aplivingsSee all my reviews

I watched this film on release night with my fiancée. We had previously seen a couple of trailers for the film and thought it looked funny and interesting, although on the day I was disturbed to see find such a low rating here on IMDb.

*Disclosure, I am not connected to the film's production or any of the cast, and have no agenda here other than offering an alternative point of view.

The basic plot is already known in advance: that Colin Firth wants to con his evil boss using a beautiful Texan as bait. He travels to meet her accompanied by his friend and co-conman, Major Wingate. After watching her in a rodeo they go to a local bar to make the approach. The Major asks Colin how much is he going to tell her? He answers: "Oh, only enough for her to play her part". And the same is true of the audience. You are only told enough to a) identify with Colin's character and his motivation, and b) follow the plot to come.

We're then treated to a brief 'Ocean's 11-style' précis of how Colin imagines the con will play out from start to finish. Needless to say, no plan ever works out exactly as imagined!

The humour is very dry, never in-your-face, and this isn't the kind of film to hand you gags. Laughing our loud isn't the point. Instead there's a mixture of situational comedy, miss-understanding comedy, wordplay, and great interaction between the characters. Some of the best jokes are the ones where you have to smile ruefully when things go wrong on a bad day. I thought at the time that the screen-writing was a lot like Richard Curtis, and could easily imagine Rowan Atkinson as the lead.

Instead the best joke is Colin Firth himself, playing a little man, in Cameron Diaz's words, instead of a larger-than-life character for a change; playing it straight, rarely smiling because he's not very happy (he wants revenge, remember) and not trying to seduce the very comely Cameron Diaz, who also plays a wickedly funny character without being cast as the comic side-kick.

But, from a critics point of view, I guess, there's not much originality. You can perceive homages to other films; old Ealing- comedies like the Ladykillers, where the subject matter isn't funny but there is some great humour. And I'm not referring to the re-make, which I didn't like.

I'd like to watch this film again at a later time and see if I can. It might grow on me and become a minor classic, or it might drop to mediocre. Either way, if you watch it you have to appreciate it for what it is, rather than what it isn't. And it probably helps if you have a temperament where you can see the funny side in unfunny situations.


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