1961-1970

Silvio Narizzano – Loot (1970)

Synopsis:
This adaptation of Joe Orton’s play focuses on a motley bunch of characters crammed inside a small hotel owned by Mr. McLeavy (Milo O’Shea). While the body of McLeavy’s wife lies freshly dead in a nearby room, her nurse, Fay (Lee Remick), plots to become the next Mrs. McLeavy. Meanwhile, McLeavy’s son and his friend try their best to hide the spoils of a bank heist. As a dim-witted priest and a crooked officer enter the fray, hilarious misplacements, trysts and shocks unfold. Read More »

René Clair – Les fêtes galantes AKA The Lace Wars (1965)

Having lost a battle against the Prince of Beaulieu, Marechal d’Allenberg returns to his castle with his few remaining followers. As famine takes its toll, one of d’Allenberg’s men, Joli Coeur, sets off to look for food. The latter not only finds some pork, but he also saves the honour of a beautiful girl who was being attacked by some lustful brutes. On his return to the castle, Joli Coeur is surprised to see both the man who gave him the pork and the girl he rescued. The girl turns out to be d’Allenberg’s daughter, Hélène. Knowing that Joli Coeur would do everything for her, Hélène asks him to leave for a secret and dangerous mission. He must go back behind the enemy lines to look for Frédéric, the Prince of Beaulieu’s son, and ask him to stop the war… Read More »

Sergio Sollima – La resa dei conti AKA The Big Gundown (1966)

Synopsis:
Jonathan Corbett is a gunman so brave to have eliminated all the bandits of Texas. For this he is proposed for the candidacy to the Senate of the United States. In exchange he has only to support the construction of one railway line. Only after he accepts does he come to know that the Mexican Cuchillo has raped and killed a 12 year old girl. Corbett leaves on a long manhunt during which he gets to know his adversary better and discovers a variation on the crime for which the accused Cuchillo may not be as guilty as he first thought. Read More »

Brian G. Hutton – Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

Synopsis:
During World War II, German Colonel Dankhopf (David Hurst) is captured by the Americans, but before he can be interrogated, an artillery barrage hits the camp. However, Lieutenant Kelly (Clint Eastwood) manages to reach the Colonel, get him drunk, and learn that he is on a secret mission to ship sixteen million dollars of gold to a base in France. Kelly is determined to get the gold, and plans for himself and a few of his fellow soldiers to slip into enemy territory and steal the bullion. Read More »

Leonid Gaidai – Kavkazskaya plennitsa AKA Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (1966)

Leonid Gaidai’s irreverent comedy updates a Leo Tolstoy story for modern Soviet times, in the Caucasus region. Shurik, a naive Russian student mired in his own clumsy Soviet culture, sets off to the Caucasus to write down the folk culture of this region: its traditions, legends, sayings, and toasts. Read More »

Gordon Douglas – In Like Flint (1967)

Former Z.O.W.I.E. spy Derek Flint (James Coburn) is called back from retirement after his former spy chief, Lloyd C. Cramden (Lee J. Cobb), is framed for prurient behavior with a prostitute, and U.S. President Trent (Andrew Duggan) experiences an incident of “lost time.” After Flint discovers irregularities on a recently launched space-station mission, he realizes that an international conspiracy is afoot. He travels the world and assumes myriad disguises to unravel the nefarious plot. Read More »

William Wyler – How to Steal a Million (1966)

Based on the short story “Venus Rising” by George Bradshaw, How to Steal a Million features a rather contrived plot about a wealthy art forger (Academy Award winner Hugh Griffith, Ben Hur) and his beautiful daughter (Hepburn) who are about to be exposed as frauds after they allow one of their fake statues to be displayed in a major art exhibition. In a desperate attempt to save face, Hepburn solicits help from a dashing society burglar (Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia) to steal the statue before tests can be made to reveal its true origin. The “burglar” isn’t exactly what he appears to be, however, and as they plot their haphazard heist, the two inevitably begin to fall in love. Read More »