Review: ‘Gambit’

Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine star in a firstrate suspense comedy, cleverly scripted, expertly directed and handsomely mounted.

Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine star in a firstrate suspense comedy, cleverly scripted, expertly directed and handsomely mounted.

Sidney Carroll’s original story has been adapted into a zesty laugh-getter as MacLaine becomes Miss Malaprop in Caine’s scheme to loot the art treasures of mid-East potentate Herbert Lom. An idealized swindle sequence lasting 27 minutes opens pic, after which the execution of the plan shifts all characterizations and sympathies.

Director Ronald Neame has obtained superior characterizations from all hands. MacLaine, playing a Eurasian gal, displays her deft comedy abilities after the opening segment, in which she is stone-faced and silent. Caine socks over a characterization which is at first tightlipped and cold, then turning warm with human and romantic frailty.

Lom is excellent as the potentate, so assured of his security devices that audience sympathy encourages the machinations of Caine and MacLaine.

1966: Nominations: Best Color Costume Design, Color Art Direction, Sound

Gambit

Production

Universal. Director Ronald Neame; Producer Leo L. Fuchs; Screenplay Jack Davies, Alvin Sargent; Camera Clifford Stine; Editor Alma Macrorie; Music Maurice Jarre; Art Director Alexander Golitzen, George C. Webb

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Shirley MacLaine Michael Caine Herbert Lom Roger C. Carmel Arnold Moss John Abbott

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