Tuesday, February 5, 2013

11 Harrowhouse (1974)

-That man has been following us.
    -How could he be?  He's in front of us.
-I hope you've got a witty line if he shoots us.

11 Harrowhouse is a british heist comedy.   Or, it's a british heist drama with a few chuckles, depending on which version you watch.  The movie stars Charles Grodin and it has been screened with and without his restrospective commentary which runs the length of the film.  With the commentary (which is the version I saw), you get plenty of Grodin's trademark deadpan observations and narrative, throughout.  Removing the commentary leaves the viewer with a much more serious heist movie experience.

Grodin plays Chesser, a small time diamond buyer/seller who stumbles on an offer that's too good to be true.  He is offered the opportunity to oversee the purchase and cutting of an obscenely large diamond.  During the delivery of said diamond, Chesser gets robbed.  To make things right, Chesser (now a million dollars in the hole) has to pull off a major diamond heist for his client.

 Grodin channeling Henry Silva

The cast in this movie should have guaranteed some measure of success, but we all know that's not always the case.  Candice Bergen, James Mason and Sir John Gielgud all lend the movie a little extra touch of class.  The overall tone of the movie reminds me of Foul Play (1978) with Chevy and Goldie, just to give you an idea of what you're in for.

Overall, 11 Harrowhouse was an enjoyable watch, but i don't think it's gonna cause anyone to rewrite their top 50 movies of all time.  I'd give it a 6 out of 10. 

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