An apparent vanity project (there's no other explanation) for tv writer/producer Bruce Geller of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE fame, it was (thankfully) his sole attempt at feature direction. How ultra-competent James Coburn got mixed up in this is a mystery. It’s shockingly bad (LOVE BOAT bad), though just barely worth a look to see the throw-in-the-towel DeadStop of an ending. Coburn plays a seen-it-all master pickpocket, working the streets in what ought to be photogenic cities with failing old-timer Walter Pidgeon; leggy Trish Van Devere, the gal who ‘stalls’ the target; and upstart protégé Michael Sarrazin, ‘the Kid.’ In another film, you might note that Sarrazin & Van De Vere are too old by a decade, but that hardly registers amid the general level of incompetence. Think the poster looks bad? Take a peak at the film.
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Lenser Fred Koenekamp must have been a very accommodating fellow. His next feature was PAPILLON/’73 for the super professional Franklin Schaffner who he’d worked with on PATTON/’70.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Robert Bresson’s PICKPOCKET/’59 is not only the essential existential pickpocket pic, but also an easy way to come by CRIME AND PUNISHMENT!