Directed by: Ronald Neame
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom, United States
Studio: Second Sight
Length: 104 mins
Released: 30 November 2009
Cat No: 2NDVD3168
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An English cat burglar (Michael Caine) teams up in Hong Kong with a Eurasian dancing girl (Shirley MacLaine) to steal a prize statue from... Read More
Exotic locations, feather-light comedy, Rififi-style crime and blacked-up character actors – Gambit is the kind of effervescent caper movie they could only make in the 1960s.
Michael Caine is on top form as the – wait for it – shouty Cockney con-man trying to break into the big time as a gentleman cat burglar, recruiting Eurasian dancer Nicole Chang (Shirley MacLaine) to help him steal a priceless bust from one of the world’s richest men, Ahmad Shahbandar (Herbert Lom).
There’s real comic and sexual chemistry between the leads, and MacLaine shows off her talent for statuesque mime by remaining entrancingly silent and poker-faced for the film’s first 30 minutes. Making sure there’s never a dull moment, director Ronald Neame handles the comic, romantic and thriller elements with equal aplomb, but his real touch of genius is having the heist perfectly executed in a dream sequence before staging it in all its clumsy reality. Add in solid production values and a catchy score by Maurice Jarre and you’ve got 100 minutes of great, sparkly fun.