The idea and the premise of Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round is okay but it doesn’t jell, and the title, a deliberate attempt to be cute, is meaningless. What leads up to the comedy-melodrama O. Henry finale most likely was very funny in the producers’ minds, but much of the action is so fragmentary and episodic that there is not sufficient exposition and the treatment goes overboard in striving for effect.
James Coburn, who charms his way out of a prison into a parole via an affair with a femme psychologist (a nice trick if you know how to do it), has in mind the burglary of a bank at LA International Airport. Date set for the heist coincides with arrival of the Russian premier, when security will engage full attention of all arms of the law.
Coburn plays a rather sardonic character who is capable of meeting every situation successfully and with what is given him comes through with a deft performance.
Camilla Sparv, whom he weds and is an innocent accomplice, rivals him in interest, displaying a fresh note which communicates engagingly.