HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  11 Harrowhouse Instant Billionaires
Year: 1974
Director: Aram Avakian
Stars: Charles Grodin, Candice Bergen, James Mason, Trevor Howard, John Gielgud, Helen Cherry, Peter Vaughan, Cyril Shaps, Leon Greene, Jack Watson, Jack Watling, Clive Morton, Larry Cross, Glynn Edwards, John Bindon, Joe Powell, Michael Gover, Michael Hawkins
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Howard R. Chesser (Charles Grodin) assesses diamonds for sale for a living, and makes a fair profit at it, though nowhere near as much as the Diamond Exchange at 11 Harrowhouse Street in London does, so couple that with the snobbish disdain the staff there hold him in, in particular the snooty but dangerous boss (John Gielgud), and it's not his favourite place to be. But what can he do? He's a self-described spectator in life, meaning he never thinks he's going to amount to much, though he is proud to have snagged rich girlfriend Maren Shirell (Candice Bergen) whose passion is zooming around in fast cars. But one day something happens to shake Howard up...

Nothing like a heist movie to do that, is there? Mind you, Howard pretty much stayed in the same frame of mind throughout, and if it were not for narration we would not be privy to his feelings at all, which was presumably why it was included. However, not every version of this movie carried the voiceover, which indicated the studio felt the proceedings needed an extra bit of business to sell it to the audience, and also in light of how drily humorous, verging on the sarcastic, Grodin's narration was we could surmise this was one of the least enthusiastic jobs in that area until Harrison Ford had his arm twisted to perform the same duty on Blade Runner.

Or maybe that's just what Charles Grodin was like, given he had adapted the popular Gerald A. Browne novel for the screen himself - Jeffrey Bloom penned the screenplay - with the character of Howard very close to his usual screen persona of the urbane but irritated by life modern male. Although there were quite a few Americans behind the camera, including director Aram Avakian making what surprisingly would be his final film at the helm, 11 Harrowhouse was a British production, which explained why most of the name cast were either ageing Brits from that thespian lineage, or character performers from that nation's deep well of such talent.

Oddly, there was an anti-establishment air to much of this, as if the Americans were keen to send up the United Kingdom's class system, and their British colleagues were only too happy to allow them to do so, but it was the central couple from across the Pond that would be the main force for striking back. Howard is puttering along, minding his own business, keeping his grievances to himself, when he is invited by millionaire Lord Bolding (Trevor Howard) to sell a large uncut diamond which he values at a high price; the diamond is then cut, he takes it back through Belgium to the nobleman's estate hidden in Maren's sports car, but whoops, along the way they are stopped.

And robbed, which puts Howard in a very difficult position since the gemstone was not insured, meaning he owes Lord Bolding a lot of money, but it so happens the old man has a solution to that: steal every diamond at the exchange. Easier said than done, especially given the opening sequence showed a previous robbery resulting in the criminals being blown up, no questions asked. But Howard is a clever chap, and devises a plan by roping in unappreciated Exchange worker James Mason to assist, along with a couple of cockroaches, one painted white, the other red. The vacuum cleaner-inspired heist itself is highly amusing, and the highlight, but for some reason the filmmakers decided they really needed something to top it for excitement, so the movie climaxes in a great big chunk of high speed car chasing, complete with very un-British exploding vehicles and admittedly very impressive stunts. Really it's Grodin's wry 'n' dry personality which sells this, one of the better (but not best) examples of this decade's love of a good heist. Music by Michael J. Lewis.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3647 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
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: