Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round Reviews

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June 30, 2015
This was a good movie with a good twist. Even though you knew James Coburn's character was a cad, you had to enjoy the ending where he lost everything of value as he saw the success of his plan.
½ May 22, 2015
James Coburn is suave, yes, but can his personality carry an entire movie when the plot takes a leisurely meandering course to get to where it's going? Methinks not. If this were a character study rather than a heist film, then we should learn a bit more about Coburn's raisons d'etre. Instead, this is all just a slow build to the ironic but otherwise underwhelming conclusion. Coburn is a master manipulator who gets himself paroled from prison and then embarks on a mission to secure enough cash to buy the blueprints for a bank that he plans to hold up. The timing will be just right, as the Soviet premier is landing in Los Angeles and causing a big commotion. Watch as the plot slowly slowly slowly unspools. Not bad, not good.
February 28, 2014
Tough guy James Coburn dully drags through a crime caper of epicly dull proportions. A con man (Coburn) is released from jail just to start planning for his next hit. Not much of anything to get excited about but not as bad as it might have been with a lesser actor in the lead. The only reason to give it a try if for the 5 second cameo by Harrison Ford in his first role as a bell hop.
June 26, 2013
Great sixties stuff, underrated.
½ February 5, 2013
Fun, though a rather involved and possibly over-complicated plot involving James Coburn as a con man planning an airpot heist the same day the Russian Premier is landing at LAX. It's not as campy as the "Flint" films, but it's still a pretty good time. You also get to see Harrison Ford in her first film role playing an an uncredited bellboy.
January 15, 2013
so so caper/heist pic
½ July 27, 2011
February 9, 2011
A movie more enjoyable than good thanks to James Coburn, Nina Wayne (Carol Wayne's sister) teenage Harrison Ford's first movie appearance and some location filming at LAX circa 1966. It has a nice surprise ending and is populated by a lot of familiar faces in minor roles--Robert Webber, Aldo Ray, Severn Darden, Rose Marie and more. More a time killer than a must see.
½ October 14, 2009
Might have some potential as a caper movie if redone, but this definitely had that 60's feel to it.
½ May 29, 2009
Una historia sobre un estafador y un robo al banco del aeropuerto protagonizado por el inigualable James Coburn. La narrativa bohemia y "hip", surgen de Godard ("Breathless") y sus influencias llegan hasta Soderbergh ("Ocean's Eleven"). A muchos este tipo de narrativa puede aburrirlos. A mi personalmente, me fascina. El final es inigualable. Miren con cuidado para ver el debut de Harrison Ford en el cine.
½ May 7, 2009
"Catch Me If You Can" with authentic sixties stylings. James Coburn is in top form as a con artist who adopts a variety of guises as part of a complex plan to rob a bank at the Los Angeles airport. Bernard Gerard's direction, like the storyline, is all over the map: there are some sequences that are extraordinarily well staged, but others fall completely flat; the mechanics of the robbery are engaging and suspenseful, but too much time is spent on incidental or irrelevant subplots. Still, it's a must see for lovers of heist films and/or sixties chic -- and, as a bonus feature, you get to see a very young Harrison Ford in his movie debut as a bellhop.
½ January 11, 2009
The only thing redeeming about about this movie is about half way through when you see Harrison Ford in a very early roll he looks about 18. It appears as though they spent their whole budget on James Coburn and had none left for anything, especially music.
October 13, 2008
The sort of thing Coburn was doing in his sleep by then. Watch for Harrison Ford's first big screen appearance.
½ September 9, 2008
Meandered so much that I completely lost interest. American heist movies in the 60s were just soooo slow.
Super Reviewer
½ July 8, 2008
Nice heist movie. Also Harrison Ford's first film appearance.
February 16, 2008
Dull, mostly incoherent caper comedy; almost every character is a cipher except for the lead (the cast is full of unknowns who don't seem to want to be known); the plot is uninteresting...all in all, not really worth it. Best known for having Harrison Ford's first speaking part (a tiny bit as a hotel messenger). Coburn is always good value, and the best thing about the film.
October 30, 2007
Meh. James Coburn was a badass, but this sounds fishy.
October 26, 2007
Not a fabulous movie.., but it did showcase the talents of James Coburn. It also includes the 1st on-screen appearance of Harrison Ford in a short scene.
½ October 10, 2007
This one had less than stellar reviews, but it, too, was exceptionally cheap--and it stars James Coburn, which I suppose is enough for me.

Coburn is Eli Kotch, an expert of a con man who slides between characters, accents, jobs, life stories and women like a politician through election platforms. We hear a number of names for him, and can never be sure that even Eli Kotch is a real name, but it doesn't matter too much. He gets out of prison by conning a psychiatrist and then immediately beings planning the robbery of an airport bank while the Russian Premier is visiting and coming in through that very same airport.

The major criticism of this film are accurate; it's not quite sloth-like in pace, but it's certainly leisurely, which is odd for a heist film. There's not much sense of danger or real suspense, and the characters--though engaging--are pretty flat. Still, it's great fun to watch James Coburn makes his way through many people with no real risk to himself, oozing charm and fun. Shame everything around him seems to lack energy. There's honestly not tons more to say than that.
September 10, 2007
A light and breezy heist film with a "hip" and "cool" attitude like the original "Ocean's Eleven" (or even the remakes for that matter). The film doesn't take itself seriously and its main interest is to only have fun and entertain, which it indeed does. Of course, as a result its plot suffers and moves slowly as the filmmakers are laid back and unconcerned with moving the story forward... it merely has fun in the moment it resides in. The ending, however, does have a nice and unexpected ironic twist that puts a smile on the viewer's face. Its certainly not a cinematic work of art but it is a cult classic and is a wonderful exemplification of 1960's Americana.

Also, Look sharp for a very young Harrison Ford in his feature film debut!
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