At the suggestion of a retired professor, a motley group of criminals plans the robbery of a Brazilian diamond company but it must contend with a new alarm system and the mutual distrust among its members.
All the employees of a bank are kidnapped by the band of Sir George McDowell on the eve of a large payment and replaced with as many doubles. The heist succeeds, but the kidnapped manage to escape and warn the police.
Edward G. Robinson,
Maria Grazia Buccella
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After retirement, Professor James Anders presents criminal Mark Milford an elaborate plan to rob a diamond company in Brazil with a crew of professionals. The men assemble in Rio de Janeiro and run in to an unanticipated problem: a new alarm system called Grand Slam 70.Written by
Rififi is a great movie, and like most great movies; it's often imitated, although unlike films such as The Exorcist, Jaws and Alien; the Rififi imitations are usually quite good. The field is lead by Jean-Pierre Melville's masterpiece 'The Red Circle', but following hot on its heels is this excellent little Italian thriller. Grand Slam mixes an intricate plot, interesting characters and a bucket load of style and the result is a film that constantly thrills and entertains. The plot follows the fortunes of a varied group of criminals brought together to carry out a daring robbery. Schoolteacher James Anders notices a chance in Rio de Janeiro to steal ten million dollars in diamonds and contacts his friend who gets in touch with several specialists to carry out the job. Aside from the obvious safe crackers, they also recruit a tried and tested womaniser to steal a key from a secretary. Everything is put into place for the robbery to go to plan, but naturally there are more twists and turns in store for thieves to deal with.
Grand Slam is an Italian film but features a host of international talent, including Hollywood performers Edward G. Robinson and Janet Leigh acting alongside cult stars such as Klaus Kinski, Robert Hoffmann and Adolfo Celi. The cast comes together very well and it's thanks to the great performances that this film works so well. Director Giuliano Montaldo keeps things ticking over nicely and the build up to the heist is always interesting. Naturally given the film's influences; the heist itself is a timed and careful (also wordless of course) affair that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The Rio de Janeiro setting provides some lovely locations and the film does look very nice on the whole. With the focus being on the plot, you can expect some twists in the tale and Grand Slam certainly does no disappoint in that respect as the film features a great twisted ending that fits what went before it very well indeed. Overall, Grand Slam is an excellent heist flick that more than does the classic French film that influenced it justice. Recommended!
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