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4.3 out of 5 stars
Gambit
Format: DVDChange
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
In the 1960s Hollywood combined the classic "caper" film with a healthy dose of romantic comedy. The result was a series of charming films such as CHARADE (1963) and HOW TO STEAL A MILLION (1966)--films that combined major stars, clever plots, witty scripts and which balanced suspense with comic and romantic complications.

Made in 1966 and released in 1967, GAMBIT was among the last of these films, and like all others in the genre it had a complex plot. Ahmad Shahbandar (Herbert Lom) is quite possibly the richest man in the world and a recluse to boot, a man who has never gotten over the death of his beautiful Eurasian wife some twenty years ago. Harry Dean (Michael Caine) devises a clever plan to gain access to his luxury apartment and rob him blind: he will use honky-tonk dancer Nicole Chang (Shirley MacLaine), who bears a striking resemblance to Shahbandar's long dead wife, to breach Shahbandar's defenses.

There's only one problem: it won't work. To tell exactly why it won't work is to betray the plot, which is extremely clever; suffice to say that Dean has made a number of incorrect assumptions about both the situation and the personalities involved. When the plot begins to twist, it does so in a truly unexpected way, taking both Dean and the audience completely by surprise.

This is the sort of film that Hollywood used to do so well but which we seldom see today, a frothy, glamorous confection with first rate production values and expert performances from major stars. MacLaine gets top billing, and she is quite fine, but the weight of the film rests on Caine and Lom, who give memorably dry performances, and director Ronald Neame (who was responsible for a host of memorable films including THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE) keeps everything moving along at a smart pace with plenty of style.

This may not be the best of the genre--I think both CHARADE and HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, to name but two, outpace it. But even so it is a perfectly charming film, the perfect antidote to a drab afternoon. Just add popcorn!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2004
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
Gambit shows us two superbly developing stars, Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine -- and in restrospect, you realize from watching this fine movie that they had what it takes, even back in the 1960s. Shirley was just superb as a street-wise nightclub dancer, and Michael was perfect as the crook with grand plans who never could seem to make things work just right. This is a funny film. Your kids will like it, if you can convince them to actually sit and watch it with you, and follow the plot. Gambit was a good precursor to Caine's best finagling movie, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels... you can see where he got practice appearing frustrated, the way his plans with Shirley kept going off track.
Enjoy.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2010
Format: DVD
What happen to ADA requirement per in 2009 expecting increase % for Closed-Captioning or English Subtitle available in these DVDs?
I am bit disappointed when they released those kind of category Vault Series, other Warner Bros Archives dvds they don't carry Closed-Captioning or English subtitle.
I am Deaf and I know these could be great for people who want to watch it and they lost their hearing in later life. Also, Closed-Captioning is great for the loud places so you would not able to miss anything what it says on the movie. Please help the small minority of hearing loss by spreading awareness to put closed-captioning or English subtitles on every DVDs.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Gambit is a marvelous film full of style as well as substance. Much as I'd like to discuss the plot, I dare not because much of the film's special surprises stem directly from telling the plot. So just trust me when I say grab it- if for no other reason the exotic locales, Shirley MacLaine's beauty, charm, and smarts (not to mention the stunning wardrobe by costumer Jean Louis), and the fun interplay between MacLaine, relative newcomer Michael Caine, and the urbane and charming Herbert Lom. A perfect film for the Sunday afternoon you're not going anywhere.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
An extremely amusing film.The first half is quite serious but the second half sweeps you off on a rollercoaster ride of humour,romance and sheer unpredictablity!My favourite line in the movie is when the millionaire asks what is said about amber Michael Caine doesn`t have a clue and tries to bluster his way out when Shirley Maclaine smiles sweetly and remarks coolly,"amber is the soul of the tiger trapped in stone" She is just lovely in it
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
A really fun little comedy with a number of unexpected twists. Extremely well played by Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine and Herbert Lom.
MacLaine is utterly delightful, giving us a nicely nuanced performance as a dancehall girl stuck in Hong Kong (that alone is something of a major feat in a comedy). Caine comes across as an inventive and low-tech, if not very physical, James Bond wannabe. Lom does a very nice job as the intended mark and gives a performance far superior to those in the Pink Panther series.
Most of the action takes place in the Middle East (without terrorists, explosions or gunfire). The con game involves a plan, a statue, a deceased wife and a doppelganger.
Sit back and enjoy. This is a delight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is an excellent comedy adventure film full of action and suspense. It's one of those heist movies that used to be popular. Ronald Neame tightly directed this film for full dramatic-comic impact. It contains an admirable score by Maurice Jarre. Not bad.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This movie is a great example of a Shirley Maclaine vehicle before she began communicating with people from other planets. It's entertaining throughout and while there are no real belly laughs, it is amusing.

Not to spoil the plot, but Michael Caine has the "perfect burglary" planned to the last detail, just to see each element of his plot blow up in his face.

What's the drawback? The thing won't play in a laptop, or any kind of computer. So, if you are like me- and enjoy taking a movie or two along to watch on the plane or while you are waiting, don't take this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Very enjoyable caper comedy with Shirley Maclaine and Michael Caine(plus Herbert Lom from the Pink Panther films). Has a neat gimmick to it(as the slogan goes-"don't tell the beginning"), but is really just and overlooked little gem of a comedy-check it out!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2007
Verified Purchase
I have to strongly disagree with nom... .This is a
delightful movie that will reel you in and then throw
you many curves.It starts off being a straight forward
heist.You are shown how it will work out.NOT !!! This
is when the fun begins.Caine and Maclaine are great together.
Suffice it to say,if you like heist movies with plot twists
then this is the movie for you.
Please bring it out on DVD.
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