Grand Slam - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Grand Slam Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2013
Has a good beginning and end but sags quite a bit in the middle.
July 14, 2011
good crime caper/heist flick amazing cast.
April 1, 2011
This movie is to Heist flicks as paint-by-numbers is to the Mona Lisa. Sure, the parts are all there, but there is no style or flair. It would only be interesting if you watch it like you would Plan 9 from Outer Space, just to laugh at the film making. For example: look for the part where the robbers have to overcome the photo-beams in front of the vault. Not only are the beams simply clothesline filmed in black light, you can actually see them sag. Shine a flashlight at the wall and see if you can make it sag in the middle. The whole safe-cracking episode plays out like a Laurel & Hardy bit. Forget about seeing the great Edward G. Robinson and the talented Janet Leigh. They are only bit characters. We are treated to over two hours of cardboard, one-dimensional stooges. Skip it and watch Sneakers or Ronin instead.
½ March 20, 2011
fantastic heist flick great ending
½ September 22, 2010
Intricate heist thriller with great international cast and locations. Not a Klaus Kinski film but rather a film with Klaus in it. Well made, with a lot of elements borrowed by other films later on. More of an extra-base-hit than a grand slam though.
July 2, 2010
I do love me some heist movies, and this one is about as pure as it gets. Except for a couple of minutes regarding a Brazilian hottie, not a moment is wasted on anything not related to the caper. The meticulous planning, careful execution, the aftermath... and a witty little denouement. It does follow a formula, but does it beautifully, with a lot of clever details and tense near-misses. The film could use a bit more polish, though. There are some minor flaws, little things like shoddy rear projection, or two notes written by different characters in the exact same handwriting (or the line "I have that reputation in almost three continents"... almost?). Nothing earth-shattering, just brief take-you-out-of-the-moment things. Also, although the performances are all solid, none really stand out except Klaus Kinski, doing his usual intense Klaus Kinski thing. However, there's also some great touches, especially during the heist itself. Or the card catalog of underworld specialists, including "military", "tipsters" and "homosexuals". Also a fun, eccentric Morricone score.
November 29, 2009
A little known, underrated, and very good 60s caper. One of my personal faves.
April 21, 2009
Grand Slam is a thrilling heist movie that keeps the viewer hooked from start to finish and delivers with a great twist ending. With awesome performances from Adolfo Celi, Janet Leigh and Edward G. Robinson and extremely tight direction from Montaldo, this film has a lot going for it. The heist scene itself (which is the final third of the film) is one of the best ever filmed and has served as inspiration for many films since (including 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight). If you like heist films you could do a lot worse than this overlooked gem.
March 2, 2009
I only watched the first 20 mins of this movie, and it was plain boring. Not even Adolfo Celi could save it. An old high school teacher who just retired after 30 years of teaching is the mastermind of a $10 million dollar heist. Can you believe this ? And the opening title music score by Ennio Morricone is not very pleasant. There is nothing in 20 mins that grabbed my attention. My rating is no stars.
February 9, 2009
This heist movie ranks right up there with 'Topkapi'. While it didn't have the fantastic Peter Ustinov in it, 'Grand Slam' certainly holds its own with Klaus Kinski and Janet Leigh. For those not familiar with the title, imagine if 'Oceans Thirteen' was made by an Italian director who minimized the cast and maximized the story. I don't care if people say this rips off 'Rififi', I feel that 'Grand Slam' has enough of a personal touch to stand out in the heist genre. Great characters, effects (for the time), and a solid ending make this one a steal if you can get your hands on it.
February 18, 2005
Okay, one more review to catch up, then it's off to run errands. After all, the past couple reviews have been pretty bland... there's nothing more frustrating that writing about a film that you're just kind of "meh" towards. Well, there are more frustrating things, of course, like having to work retail, but for the sake of my little piece of the universe right now, let's call writing about mediocrity the most frustrating thing in the world.

[i]Grand Slam[/i] is a damn good heist film, so I can write about that just fine. I love heist films, and can even be entertained by crummy ones. Great ones, like [i]Rififi[/i], or really, really good ones, like the original [i]Italian Job[/i] or [i]The Taking of Pelham One Two Three[/i], I can watch over and over. I'm sure I'll be watching[i] Grand Slam[/i] again, and that's the sign that it's one of the best.

Edward G. Robinson plays a school teacher on the verge of retirement who goes to a childhood friend, now a mobster, to get together four men to break into a bank carrying ten million dollars in diamonds. Robinson has the whole thing planned, and all the carefully-picked team has to do is follow his orders. There's the safecracker (Georges Rigaud), the ladies' man (Robert Hoffman), the trained killer (Klaus Kinski) and the tinkerer (Riccardo Cucciolla).

It's safe to say that things don't go as planned, and the heist gets much more complicated when they discover that the bank has just installed a new security system. There's also trouble when the ladies' man has problems with his job, getting into the purse of the bank manager (Janet Leigh) who turns out to be a cold fish to his charms. There's tension, high wire acts, a beating-the-laser-detector sequence that's miles better than the faux-fu of Charlie's Angels, double-crosses and a fair share of twists, including a final twist that's unpredictable even now.

The cast is fine, especially the genial Robinson, the creepy Kinski and the debonaire Rigaud, a familar genre film character actor whose dignity makes it perfectly believable that one of the world's best safecrackers works as a butler. The setting helps as well, with the entire heist set in Rio de Janiero during Carnivale, as the team must cross over the parade to get to their booty.

Hee. Booty.

Okay, so it's not always believable, but then again, what heist film is? It's as dark as [i]Rififi [/i]but still manages a sense of fun, even as the leading characters start to get bumped off. While it never manages to be as tense and exciting as the finest examples of the genre, it's consistantly entertaining during its' just-under-two-hour running time. The Ennio Morricone score is great too--anyone know where I can get a copy of the soundtrack?

On the DVD box, it's compared to, among other things, [i]The Score[/i], a lame recent flick that this is much better than. [i]Grand Slam[/i] is an underseen, clever little caper flick that deserves better than its' non-existant reputation, and Blue Underground's DVD should change that. It's now available as part of a two-pack with Fabio Testi's [i]Revolver[/i] for under $20, so check it out. It's worth it.
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