HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round The Long Con
Year: 1966
Director: Bernard Girard
Stars: James Coburn, Camilla Sparv, Aldo Ray, Nina Wayne, Robert Webber, Rose Marie, Todd Armstrong, Marian McCargo, Michael Strong, Severn Darden, James Westerfield, Phillip Pine, Simon Scott, Ben Astar, Michael St. Angel, Larry D. Mann, Harrison Ford
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Eli Kotch (James Coburn) is spending time in a prison psychology group where the inmates reveal their inner feelings as a way of getting them to think about their actions more and set them on the path to rehabilitation. One prisoner is speaking about how the smell of something sweet can remind him of his abusive, alcoholic father who used to drink vanilla extract but Eli counters that he doesn't necessarily believe scents are the key to a person's inner thoughts and actions, and goes off on a story about the night he and his father realised his mother was having an affair. But then, he likes to spin a yarn, does Eli...

Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round was best recalled today for its nonsensical title - you would have to watch the movie to see where it was derived from, not that this cleared up its meaning much - but perhaps that was selling it short, because it remained the most notable film from the directing career of Bernard Girard. He has been described as largely undistinguished as an auteur, but this example of his work did betray certain aspirations as he took the heist flick and applied a measure of style and aloofness to it which not everyone was going to respond to. All that business without much of a pay-off, the naysayers may well have observed, although there was a twist in the tale.

Actually a twist right in the last seconds of the final scene, which you could view as a clever resolution to an involved caper, or a case of cold feet where the way the plot was heading was considered far too immoral for the time, so they added that dampener on Eli's ultimate achievements. For most of the film you're not even all that aware of precisely what he's up to anyway, as we follow him out of prison and into a series of aliases as he pulls the wool over a selection of characters' eyes. This ranges from pretending to return a rich woman's dog or taking young lady out for a drink posing as a Swiss and making an impression of her employer's key to actually getting married to an au pair, Inger (Camilla Sparv).

She is working for a different rich woman, and as the scenes accumulate in much the same fashion for the next hour we begin to piece together what it is Eli is up to. Given there are scenes scattered throughout with Robert Webber trying to organise a visit by a Soviet Premier to Los Angeles, we might be correct in thinking this has something to do with the overall heist, and as the narrative builds to a denouement at the airport you can sort of understand where this has been aiming. Although such an approach, with all cards played very close to the chest even as the story is wrapping up, could have been not exactly a manner of generating supense but a method of sustaining the audience's confusion.

Not so much to keep them on their toes but to stop them asking awkward questions, as once you begin to think over what you have seen you may well be pondering various implausibilities about both Eli himself and the incredibly involved plan - could many criminals be so set on grabbing that wealth for themselves when they were going to split it up to that extent? It would be easier to get a decent job, which in light of the application Eli offers to his crimes he could become a very accomplished mind in an executive position. It is at this point you twig that everything you've seen is mostly for effect, so that you could enjoy the proceedings as an exercise in gloss and superficial sheen, and appreciate Coburn's effortless charm, which to be fair went a long way. Also interesting was that Steven Speilberg looked to have watched this before making Catch Me If You Can: there were noticeable similarities (conman, era, love affair) although his effort was the better movie. Music by Stu Phillips.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5366 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: