KALEIDOSCOPE (aka: THE BANK BREAKER)
(director: Jack Smight; screenwriters: Robert and Jane-Howard Carrington; cinematographer: Christopher Challis; editor: John Jympson; music: Stanley Myers; cast: Warren Beatty (Barney Lincoln), Susannah York (Angel McGinnis), Clive Revill (Inspector ‘Manny’ McGinnis), Eric Porter (Harry Dominion), Murray Melvin (Aimes), George Sewell (Billy), Stanley Meadows (Dominion Captain), John Junkin (Dominion Porter), Larry Taylor (Dominion Chauffeur), Yootha Joyce (Museum Receptionist), Jane Birkin (Exquisite Thing), George Murcell (Johnny), Anthony Newlands (Leeds); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Elliott Kastner; Warner Bros.; 1966-UK)
“Not challenging flashy romantic-comedy caper flick.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Jack Smight (“Harper”/”No Way to Treat a Lady”/”The Illustrated Man”)directs this not challenging flashy romantic-comedy caper flick, set in Swinging London and in the Riviera.The forgettable bland pic leaves no acid trip flashbacks despite its fancy kaleidoscope camera work. It’s written byRobert and Jane-Howard Carrington, whose only purpose is to make its star Warren Beatty look cool.
The wealthy American Barney Lincoln (Warren Beatty) is a professional gambler and playboy, who has figured out a way to beat the European gambling casinos. Barney breaks into the Kaleidoscope card factory in London which supplies cards to all the casinos in Europe and marks the cards. This leads to Barney making a killing in the Monte Carlo casinos, but it makes his new British girlfriend Angel (Susannah York), a fashion designer, suspicious enough to alert her father, Inspector ‘Manny’ McGinnis (Clive Revill ), a Scotland Yard top detective to investigate. When confronted with his crimes, Barney agrees to help the police capture Harry Dominion (Eric Porter), a notorious criminal and drug smuggler and compulsive gambler, to avoid jail. Our boy lures him into a high-stake poker game, that’s fraught with danger.
Jane Birkin makes her film debut in this film, playing a character named “Exquisite Thing.”
Beatty’s cool image has somehow eluded me throughout his career, while this hipster swinger pic has its entertaining moments it nevertheless tries too hard to be dazzling. I, for the most part, found its groovy story and fashionable camera tricks outdated and the pic as disposable as a bad deck of cards.
Susannah York replaced Sandra Dee, who had a schedule conflict. Beatty, thinking with his dick, wanted to score with Dee, and requested her as his co-star; while Smight didn’t think Dee was right for the part and sighed with relief when she bowed out.
REVIEWED ON 8/9/2010 GRADE: C+