Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gambit - the original

In Monday's entry, I wrote about our recent viewing of the 2012 version of Gambit. Having just seen this remake, we decided to check out the 1966 original.  I'd seen it a long time ago, but aside from remembering Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine, and Herbert Lom as the stars, the movie hadn't stuck with me much.

After watching it, I understand why:  The 1966 original just didn't quite work as well as it should have.  Two problems kept the film from being all it should have been.

First, the bad guy, the man they were plotting to rob, simply wasn't all that bad.  In the remake, Alan Rickman chewed the scenery and made himself easy to dislike.  In the same role earlier, Herbert Lom was a bit of a jerk, but not exceptionally so.  It wasn't Lom's fault; he did all he could with the part.  The script simply gave him little to do.

Second, the original was too long, so long that at times it dragged.  A full 20 minutes longer than the remake, it just didn't have enough going on to warrant all the extra time.

I found the exercise of comparing the two films interesting, but even though the original has rather higher ratings than the remake on the few sites I checked, I very much prefer the 2012 version to the original.


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