Beating the System

Thanks to David E for recommending 11 HARROWHOUSE, the subject of this week’s edition of The Forgotten.

Charles Grodin and Candice Bergen form a sort of Woody Allen – Diane Keaton team in this diamond heist caper. Fortunately I was able to obtain a widescreen copy with VO (the pan-and-scan VHS release somehow managed to omit the film’s most distinguishing feature, Grodin’s narration). Admittedly, the AVI file I tracked down had resolution issues, resulting in people’s facial features swimming woozily around, inducing that peculiar form of digital flesh-vertigo that doesn’t have a name yet…

Buy a proper copy: 11 Harrowhouse

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4 Responses to “Beating the System”

  1. Until his sudden retirement, Charles Grodin was always a welcome figure in American film.

    Well at least to me he was.

    He was very carefully cast by Polanski in Rosemary’s Baby as the good doctor vs. Ralph Bellamy’s Evil doctor.

    His masterpiece is of course Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid (1972). One has only to see the first few minutes of the pathetic Ben Stiller remake to realize how far we’ve fallen.

  2. david wingrove Says:

    I was intrigued by the notion of Candice Bergen as a lesbian love object! (“It’s Lady Balding! She loves me!”)

    Whoever that lovelorn lady is (and I’ve long since forgotten the name of the actress) you certainly can’t fault her taste.

  3. It’s Mrs Trevor Howard herself, Helen Cherry. Which does put a slight question mark over her taste, but what the hell, he was a great actor. He’s limbering up for Rawlinson End in this one.

    Grodin has a lovely story about Polanski. He’s playing the sympathetic doctor who seems to believe Rosemary’s crazy satanist story. Grodin wanted to pause before saying “I believe you.”

    Polanski was adamant: no pause.

    “But this is quite a wild story she’s spinning here, and I think it would be more convincing if I stopped to think a moment.”

    “No it wouldn’t. And I get paid a great deal of money for knowing these things.”

    Well, that crack kind of miffed Grodin. Later in the day, he approaches RP. “I’ve been thinking about what you said, and… I think you’re right.

    Polanski is a bit nonplussed. “Well. Good.”

    And Grodin comes back: “You see how convincing I can be with a pause?”

    Their relationship, Grodin notes, did not thereafter improve.

  4. HAH!

    Don’t dare to best Roman at his own game.

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