Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Romy, Ronet, Delon ... again

QUI? (aka THE CORPSE WITH STEEL CLAWS), 1970. A better than usual Eurotrash thriller, with top-notch casting: we begin with a couple quarrelling, a red sports car, a mad drive along the cliffs, the car goes over the edge – she jumps out just in time but has he been killed? Romy Schneider is our heroine and looks quite lovely here. Enter Maurice Ronet as the dead man’s brother, who takes her back to Paris. She stays with him and of course – join the dots – they get involved, while he tries to prove she killed the unpleasant brother. She meanwhile feels she is being watched … Only someone who had never seen a Hitchcock, Chabrol, Clouzot or Franju film would be surprised by what happens next. Leonard Keigel unfortunately is directing here and is not in their league. There is a good chase though through a department store, and the ending is a steal from PLEIN SOLEIL as police wait to arrest an unsuspecting arrival at the harbour. Ronet and Schneider seem like old friends as I have seen them in several movies lately, so I liked it a lot, and again, it clocks in at 73 minutes!

ONCE A THIEF, 1965. Director Ralph Nelson had a successful run back in the 60s (LILIES OF THE FIELD, FATE IS THE HUNTER), I had not seen this crime caper since it was on release. It’s one of the few Alain Delon made in America then. Here he is a small-time criminal trying to go straight, with wife Ann-Margret and their little daughter. He puts down a deposit on a boat (it is San Francisco) as he is framed for a robbery and murder, where his trademark roadster car and sheepskin coat are mentioned, convincing detective Van Heflin that Delon is the killer. Then Jack Palance as Delon’s older criminal brother enters, with his cronies, and he wants Delon to help with a robbery. Things begin to spiral out of control as Veflin realises Delon has been framed … Palance and Delon are an unlikely pair of brothers, a lot of it is shot at night, Delon isn't a sympathetic lead here, Ann-Margret screams a lot and gets slapped around and there is a typical score by Lalo Schifrin. Very mid-60s then.

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