The Gentleman Bandit

There's little more to "The Gentleman Bandit" than the novelty of ex-thief Charlie Mattera playing himself (though, curiously, with a change of character name) in this account of how a petty hood is dressed up by a veteran con man to make some big scores.

With:
With: Ed Lauter, Peter Greene, Justine Miceli, Charlie Mattera, Kristina Malota, Ryan O'Neal, Todd Newman.

There’s little more to “The Gentleman Bandit” than the novelty of ex-thief Charlie Mattera playing himself (though, curiously, with a change of character name) in this account of how a petty hood is dressed up by a veteran con man to make some big scores. Despite its purported veracity, Mattera’s script (co-written with Mark Petracca) plays implausibly on screen, especially since helmer-lenser Jordan Alan has no feel for authentic texture or volatility within the crime genre. Burdened by excessive dissolves and woozy pacing, pic’s theatrical window appears narrow, with a slightly better opening in ancillary.

An eight-minute prologue establishes Nick (Mattera) and thief partner Manny (Peter Greene) as hoods from boys to men, until Manny betrays Nick during a restaurant holdup that sends Nick to Gotham’s Rikers Island prison. Amazingly, when Nick comes to L.A. to look up ex-g.f. Maria (Justine Miceli), he finds she’s just broken up with Manny, who is — even more amazingly — a cop. Caper-style section with Harry (Ed Lauter) grooming Nick to be gent crook (with Ryan O’Neal as a befuddled victim) is welcome relief from an otherwise botched job of a movie.

The Gentleman Bandit

Production: A Pathfinder Pictures release of a Terminal Bliss Pictures presentation in association with 47 Prods. of an Alfred Joyal production. Produced by Douglas Hunter, Meta Puttkammer, Charlie Mattera, Jordan Alan. Executive producer, Joyal. Co-executive producer, Gary Saint Denis. Directed by Jordan Alan. Screenplay, Charlie Mattera, Mark Petracca.

Crew: Camera (Hollywood Camera Ultravision widescreen, CFI color), Alan; editors, Paul O'Brien, Brett Smith; music, Lawrence Nash Groupe; music supervisor, A. Jay Sweet; production designer, Nathan Vane; set decoration, Anna-Maria Mutter; costume designer, Billy Ray McKenna; sound (Dolby Digital), Oliver Moss, Stuart Pearce; supervising sound editor, Mark Larry; associate producers, Beth Lobel, Justine Miceli; assistant directors, Joshua Oliver, Joel Morales. Reviewed on videotape, L.A., Feb. 23, 2002. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Ed Lauter, Peter Greene, Justine Miceli, Charlie Mattera, Kristina Malota, Ryan O'Neal, Todd Newman.

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