Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cinema Tuesdays {How to Steal a Million}

This month's theme for Cinema Tuesdays is Comedy Crime Capers, because if you're going to commit a crime or run from the law you might as well have fun doing it.
Isn't it amazing how easy it was for AH and Givency to transform from being Cinderella in the Fifties to her cool mod look in the Sixties?
Papa (perfectly played by the very funny Hugh Griffith) continues the Bonnet family business of forging masterpieces and selling them to millionaires with more money than sense.
The Cellini Venus, sculpted by Grandpa and modelled by Grandma, is going on display in a major museum. AH doesn't like this because she is afraid that they will be caught.
Eli Wallach, playing a rich American tycoon who collects art as a form of relaxation, is determined to get his hands on the Venus -by hook or by crook.
When left alone in the house at night, this is the one author you shouldn't read, especially if you start to hear things that go bump in the night.
That bump is made by Peter O'Toole, who is trying to steal the Van Gogh. Or is he? Don't you wish that Peter O'Toole had made more comedies in the Sixties, he is rather brilliant at them.
He's also quite right that society burglars don't expect to be shot at while going about their business. The only on the job hazards that society burglars expect to be faced with is keeping their dinner jackets neat.
Even in a nightie and rubber boots, she is still more elegant then just about anyone, since she wore the clothes and not the other way round.
Being a society burglar is a nice career choice, it leaves time in the afternoons to wander around museums, getting a cultural education while wearing a three piece suit and inspecting the latest in security measures.
Don't you just hate it when you're stalked by rich Americans who are just after your art collection?
Love the Art Nouveau restaurant.
Unfortunately, the museum is insisting on taking out an insurance policy that involves scientifically checking that the Venus really is 400 years old. Poor Papa will go to jail when they are found out and Givenchy doesn't make prison uniforms.
I'm convinced that tights in the Sixties were just so much cooler than they one's available today.
If you're going to plan a robbery with a known criminal, you might as well do it in style.
And before he realizes that Grandma bares a striking resemblance to a certain living person.
Note to self: when planning to rob a museum, the best way to work out a plan is to walk around Paris snappily dressed.
And don't dressed in the stereotypical burglar attire. Instead wear something simple and elegant, that wont be noticed by the museum security.
I really like how they filmed it in an actual broom closet, instead of just faking the shots.
The magic key is my favourite part in the movie.
And the boomerang is so simple and brilliant.
If only it were that easy to steal something now, without having to worry about things like CCTV.
If it weren't for the nice hat, the cleaning woman disguise wouldn't be elegant and frumpy at the same time -a very hard combination to pull off, don't you agree?
I love it when films show the chaos that ensues from normal human reaction.
And her headboard is the only thing I like in the Bonnet house.
Poor Papa! It must be hard to maintain a facade of mourning when the theft is what kept the Venus from being examined and him out of jail.
Of course pawning the statue off to the rich idiot is the natural solution. I wonder how many masterpieces are hidden away in the vaults of the super rich and will never again see the light of day and be enjoyed by the public? That is the real crime, not selling forgeries to millionaires who can afford it.
Such a great suit and a feminine bowler hat.

The only obstacle to our heroes' happiness is Peter O'Toole's confession that he is a private detective specializing in art forgeries and hired by Charles Boyer to investigate the family business.
What will happen to poor Papa?
It's a darn shame when children don't want to take over the family business.


Andi B. Goode said...

This is definitely one of my favourites. I watch it over & over. Very funny indeed!
-Andi x

Millie Motts said...

You have excellent taste!!! Right there with you in wishing Peter O'Toole made more comedies. Hilarious.