Gambit (1966 film)
original film poster
|Directed by||Ronald Neame|
|Produced by||Leo L. Fuchs|
|Written by||Jack Davies
Sidney Carroll (story)
Roger C. Carmel
|Music by||Maurice Jarre|
|Editing by||Alma Macrorie|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||109 minutes|
|Box office||$2,500,000 (US/ Canada)|
Gambit is a 1966 comedy film starring Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine as two criminals involved in an elaborate plot centered on a priceless antiquity from millionaire Mr. Shahbandar, played by Herbert Lom. It was nominated for three Academy Awards.
The film was advertised with the headline, "Go Ahead: Tell the End —It's Too Hilarious to Keep Secret—, But Please Don't Tell the Beginning!"
A remake, with only basic ideas in common, was released in 2012, with a script by Joel and Ethan Coen. The cast includes Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman.
Cockney cat burglar Harry Dean and exotic Hong Kong showgirl Nicole Chang are seen executing a masterfully planned robbery of a priceless antiquity owned by Mr. Shahbandar, the world's richest man. However, it turns out that this foolproof scheme is only in Harry's head for now, still in the planning stage. When he and Nicole set out to pull off the actual heist, everything that possibly could go wrong does indeed go wrong.
||This section provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject. (September 2012)|
Harry Dean (Michael Caine) and his friend Emile discover Nicole (Shirley MacLaine) in a crowded restaurant. Because she bears an incredible resemblance to the late wife of the world's richest man, Mr. Shahabandar (Herbert Lom), Harry and Emile want to use her in a scheme to rob Shahabandar of a priceless statuette. Nicole initially resists, until they offer her a legal British passport and $5000 US dollars. Nicole agrees as long as it does not involve theft or any illegal activities.
Harry and Nicole arrive in Damuz (a fictitious Middle Eastern country) as Sir Harold and Lady Dean. Gaining Shahabandar's attention, they accept his invitation for the evening. Arriving at Shahabandar's mansion, Nicole occupies Shahbandar's attention (without doing anything illegal) while Harry steals the statuette. Nicole makes an excuse to leave, and she and Harry return to Emile. Emile reveals that the statuette is fake. Harry replaced the original with a fake, but hid the real one for Shahabandar to find later. Nicole asks Emile to forgive Harry, and they all go their separate ways.
It is revealed later that Emile has made four more replicas of the statuette. The publicity surrounding the theft of the original meant he could sell them.
- Michael Caine - Harry Tristan Dean
- Shirley MacLaine - Nicole Chang
- Herbert Lom - Ahmad Shahbandar
- Roger C. Carmel - Ram
- Arnold Moss - Abdul
- John Abbott - Emile Fournier
- Richard Angarola - Colonel Salim
- Maurice Marsac - Hotel Clerk
- Academy Award for Best Art Direction (Alexander Golitzen, George C. Webb, John McCarthy, Jr., John P. Austin)
- Best Costume Design
- Best Sound (Waldon O. Watson)
- "Big Rental Films of 1967", Variety, 3 January 1968 p 25. Please note these figures refer to rentals accruing to the distributors.
- "The 39th Academy Awards (1967) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- "NY Times: Gambit". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-27.