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Askew Review 15

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(Blue Underground) 1969. 119 min. Not Rated. With the help of a “who’s who in the world of crime” contact, a seemingly meek school teacher travels the world to assemble an elite criminal team to carry out the world’s largest diamond heist. Once assembled in Rio de Janeiro, each team member focuses on their area of expertise and work together to pull off the heist before the conclusion of the city’s wild carnival, one piece of the heist’s elaborate puzzle. 
Being a huge fan of robbery/heist movies, I was surprised to see just how many elements of Grand Slam have been ripped off by more recent heist movies; most notably Entrapment and The Score. Loaded with a number of tense moments and likeable characters, Grand Slam moves along at a nice pace making the two hour run time seem much shorter. I personally liked the tension between Klaus Kinski’s (he’s an intense looking dude anyway) character and the pretty boy playboy (can’t recall the actor’s name) character. The production values are top notch: awesome location shooting, great acting, sound, picture, etc. Some of you groovy swinging types will probably dig the soundtrack scored by Ennio Morricone. A somewhat funny note; the DVD cover reads “Before Ocean’s Eleven, there was...Grand Slam.” That statement isn’t all that accurate. True, Grand Slam was indeed released before George Clooney’s 2001 Ocean’s Eleven. However, the 2001 Ocean’s Eleven is a remake of the 1960 Ocean’s Eleven starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. Therefore, the original Ocean’s Eleven came out a full nine years before Grand Slam, it was actually the remake that Grand Slam proceeded. Who cares though? That has nothing to do with the movie and I’m just being a prick. Nonetheless, Grand Slam is a great “heist” flic worthy of way more attention than it’s received over the past 34 years. – Denis Sheehan



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