A mid-20th century trio of top-notch actors star in "Seven Thieves." This unusual caper mystery is based on a 1959 novel by Max Catto, "The Lions at the Kill." Catto was a prolific English writer who sometimes wrote under the pen name, Simon Kent. Ten of his novels were made into movies. Among them are the 1950 book, "The Killing Frost," which became the 1956 film, "Trapeze;" and the 1969 book, "Murphy's War," which became a 1971 film of the same name.
In "Seven Thieves," Edward G. Robinson, Rod Steiger and Eli Wallach are joined by four others in pulling off a grand heist of the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. Joan Collins plays the sole female of the group. The exteriors of Monte Carlo and the French Riviera - at Cannes, are filmed. I visited and vacationed at these places in 1963 and 1964 while serving in the U.S. Army in Germany, and they appeared then just as shown in this film.
The plot for this film is a good drama and caper. It has some good character development - for as much as a 100-minute film will allow with seven main characters. All the performances are very good, including a number of supporting cast. Among them are Berry Kroeger and Sebastian Cabot. This is one of those heist films when one hopes they get away with it. The film has some sentimental underpinnings that lurk under the surface until the end. That revelation and a surprise twist provide for an interesting ending. And one more little twist at the final scene adds a touch of delight.
At times this film may seem slow to modern audiences used to fast action and little substance. But the substance is well worth it for those who appreciate good acting and a nice crime caper.
Here's a favorite line from the movie. Theo Wilkins (E.G. Robinson) sits down with Paul Mason (Rod Steiger) to have a drink at an outdoor lounge overlooking the beach at Cannes, France. Theo says, "Now, an international axiom. A man who says 'whiskey' is an Englishman. A man who says 'double whiskey' is an Irishman. But a man who asks, 'Have you any ice?' is an American."
Action / Crime / Drama
Action / Crime / Drama
In Monte Carlo, Theo Wilkins recruits his young protégé Paul Mason - just released from prison - to help him rob the famous casino of $4 million. The plan is straightforward. On the night of the Governor's Ball, Theo will create a distraction in the casino by having one of the team collapse requiring urgent medical attention. During that time Paul and another member of the crew will get the money from the vault. When the ambulance arrives, the money will leave with the sick man. The plan is a good one but not everyone will survive the robbery and no one will get rich from it.
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January 19, 2016 at 01:59 AM