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The Challenge: Steal $12 billion dollars in uncut diamonds.
The Task: Break into the most securely guarded fortress devised by man.
The Plan: Use amateurs armed with ingenuity, guts, a cockroach, a thin cord and a vacuum cleaner.
The Risk: Death.
With the help of a wealthy widow (Candice Bergen), an eccentric oil baron (Trevor Howard), an angry employee (James Mason), and, of course, a cockroach, a talented burglar (Charles Grodin) attempts a daring robbery of the worlds largest clearinghouse for gems.
Based on the novel by Gerald A. Browne and adapted by Charles Grodin, 11 Harrowhouse delivers precise wit and comedy through its talented ensemble cast, resulting in a wild-ride spoof on suspense thrillers.
Top Customer Reviews
I have long been a fan of this entertaining 1970s caper movie and so, even though I am a DVD devotee, I had no qualms about picking up a VHS copy. Though, a region-free DVD player comes in handy for movies like THE FOURTH PROTOCOL, HIGH ROAD TO CHINA, WHEN EIGHT BELLS TOLL and SILVER BEARS, I have yet to find a region where this movie is released.
However I do have a qualm. It appears that the quirky dry humor laden internal commentary by the lead Charles Grodin is missing from this VHS tape. This is an essential part of what makes this movie so engaging because although this movie is not filmed strictly as a comedy (except for the last 20 minutes or so), Grodins commentary kept the atmosphere light and carefree even in the moments of high-tension.
This movie also benefits from a truly amazing high-caliber cast. Featured alongside Grodin is Candice Bergen (later to find fame as Murphy Brown), James Mason, Trevor Howard and Sir John Gielgud. Given this cast and the clever humor and plot it really is astounding that this movie has yet to find a DVD release.
The movie centers around small-time diamond trader Howard R. Chesser who suddenly finds himself negotiating a million-pound deal (a lot more in 1974 than it sounds today). Treated with contempt by the Diamond Exchange located at 11 Harrowhouse (which carefully controls the flow of diamonds and stockpiles tons of them in order to maintain their value), Chesser jumps at the chance to snub his nose at the Exchange and particularly its snobbish Director Meecham (played by Gielgud).Read more ›
Filmed in England, with a decidedly "English" feel, this is a thoroughly enjoyable spy caper, with a smart sense of humor and stylish direction, set design, and music. In fact, the music -- also mod, Brit, and hip -- is one of the highlights. Add James Mason and the great Trevor Howard and you have an overlooked gem of a film, eagerly waiting a decent DVD re-release.
Fox, what are you waiting for?
The dvd released by Shout is superb.Excellent detail,colour rendition and very light grain.(The dnr has not smashed detail).Audio is clear and whilst not a 5.1,dts mix it is just fine.For the record the audio contains the voice over from Charles Grodin.Unbeknown to me there is a version without it.
1974 May have come and gone, but this movie still makes for engaging entertainment. Fully 4 tons of diamonds are stolen from the leading firm in London, and the scenario is more than plausible. Bergen and Grodin offer solid performances, and the addition of John Gielgud (the Butler in Arthur) ensures a quality product.
At 8 PM, I pressed play expecting to stop at 9 for ABC's Desperate Housewives... It was 9:30 before I suddenly remembered to stop. Soon it became clear the intermission was unnecessary; this movie beats modern television hands down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fantastic heist film. Candice Bergen, James Mason, and Charles Grodin are excellent. Bonus: you'll get to see a Lotus Europa in action.Published 18 days ago by approach
While I have not yet watched it I say it many years ago when it was first released. I am happy to add it to my DVD collectionPublished 12 months ago by R. Ferguson
First I read the book and then watched the movie. They were both excellent experiences, but since I like reading more than watching, the book was the better of the two.Published 15 months ago by Gordon
A savvy adaption of Gerald A. Browne's novel. (Purchase a copy from Amazon for your summer reading, or steal a copy if you have to. Read morePublished 19 months ago by daniel r. esian
I've always enjoyed films dealing with grand larceny schemes, and this one ranks right up there with Rififi, Topkapi, and so many others, in my estimation. Read morePublished on April 23, 2013 by Robert D. Woods
I love heist/bank robbery films. This one is unique. Starring the great James Mason and a very wiley cockroach. Great film.Published on September 22, 2012 by catsmeow