The Grissom Gang
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This violent, over-the-top Robert ("DIRTY DOZEN") Aldrich directed thriller is a remake of the 1948 British film "NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH" which was in turn adapted from the once banned-as-pornographic novel of the same name.
It's the 1920s. Kim Darby is the beautiful young heiress Barbara Blandish who is kidnaped by the brutal Grissom gang. Their plan is simple and savage: keep the ransom and kill the hostage. Unfortunately (for the gang) dimwit Slim Grissom (Scott Wilson) falls in love with Barbara. And the even more unfortunate Barbara is forced into a relationship -- as the poster says -- of "violence and desire."
Finally, when the police close in and the gang comes apart, the question becomes: Who will survive the final frenzy of love and bullets?
Tony Musante, Ralph Waite, Robert Lansing and Connie Stevens co-star in this still shocking, extremely vicious gangster thriller. The tense screenplay is by Leon Griffiths and the edgy, very 70s score is by Gerald Fried.
Those who knew director Aldrich, who was also responsible for "KISS ME DEADLY" and "THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE," say this film was intended as a black comedy and was a reflection of his bizarre, almost sadistic, sense of humor. He said, "if it makes you laugh or cringe or both is more about who you are..." ...
Kim Darby plays snotty society girl Barbara Blandish, the product of her boorish and society climbing parents who is kidnapped by a group of petty thugs....however they in turn are ambushed by a more professional crew of hoodlums. Irene Dailey plays Ma Grissom, the cold blooded leader of the small time gang....Scot Wilson is the simple-minded and lovestruck thug, Slim Grissom....Connie Stevens portrays the air headed blonde gangster moll, Anna....and Tony Musante is the oily and vicious, Eddie Hagan.
Whilst definitely not a gangster classic, "The Grissom Gang" is an over looked addition to the genre that's not without it's redeeming qualities. Aldrich had a flair for directing hard edged films that explored the more violent side, and the underbelly of human nature....and this film does all that !!
A friend told me about The Grissom Gang, raving over Kim's acting abilities and I had to see for myself.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Darby is excellent in the role of a snooty society girl who is kidnapped by a gang of petty hoodlums with Ma Grissom as the very cruel mother and leader of the gang of three brothers. She treats the "spoiled little rich girl" brutally and would have killed her if it weren't that her youngest (and favorite) son Slim develops a big crush on Darby's character, Barbara Blandish. Slim is simple-minded and easily manipulated by Barbara--who doesn't fool old Ma for a second--which adds to the plot's complexity.
The Grissom Gang are amateurs compared to a more professional crew who thwart their plans. In addition to Darby's excellent acting, Scot Wilson is great in the role of Slim Grisson, Connie Stevens is realistic as the dumb gangster "moll," and Tony Musante is vicious as the leader of the pro gang. But Irene Dailey plays the cold-blooded Ma Grissom to perfection; she made me cringe with fear and disgust.Read more ›
Robert Aldrich is more known as a successful director of action movies like THE DIRTY DOZEN than as a sensitive observer of psychological dramas but with THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE, released in 1968 and THE GRISSOM GANG, Big Bob showed that a golden heart was beating under his elephant skin.
Don't get me wrong ! THE GRISSOM GANG is also a gangster movies loaded with machine guns duels and vicious killings but what's more interesting is the description of the relationship between Slim, the psychotic killer, and Barbara Blandish, the spoiled heiress. This unusual couple has to face a collection of secondary characters one will not forget so easily. For instance, Ma Grissom, played by Irene Dailey, a criminal genius and an overprotective mother, or Eddie - Tony Musante - Hagan, the archetype of the gangster of the 30's, so seductive but ready to kill anything that moves, even women, if necessary.
In the good guys section of the movie, there is someone who, in spite of his millions, could have been part of the Grissom gang : Wesley Addy, Barbara's father and often present in Aldrich's films, his attitude is one of the most disturbing seen in a movie.
All in all, an excellent addition to your library.
A DVD zone Bonnie and Clyde.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The film was in excellent condition--I enjoyed the acting performance for Slim and Barbara. It was interesting to see how the characters evolved from their initial meeting (i.e. Read morePublished 2 months ago by peggy
The DVD was in good state but the parcel was torn and the DVD fell before I could do anything so I feared that the content would be in poor state but luckily that was not the... Read morePublished on October 13, 2013 by Daphne44
Whatever were Robert Aldrich's intentions with his 1971 "The Grissom Gang" it is uncertain if it were a gritty gangster film or a black comedy, it is not entirely successful as... Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by V. Risoli
It could have been made yesterday. You wouldn't say it was made in 1971. The image is very good, and once you start you can't stop watching it up to the end. Read morePublished on October 13, 2012 by Piratesbride
About a gang that kidnaps a rich guy's daughter for ransom. Initially she's picked up by a motley group of local thugs going for their once-in-a-lifetime big score. Read morePublished on August 25, 2011 by FRED C. DOBBS
I put off watching The Grissom Gang because I'd read it was just a shoot-em-up gangster movie without a lot of nuance; and that whenever the character-driven dramatic element... Read morePublished on May 17, 2011 by C. Rothlind
Very grave and closely observed film. And finish of it also very real - not happy-end like in stupid American movies. Read morePublished on July 11, 2009 by Tomas