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January 1, 2018  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 2:15 a.m. ET

 
When Roger Ebert reviewed this Warren Beatty-Goldie Hawn bank heist movie upon its release in 1971, he praised it as “a slick and breakneck caper movie that runs like a well-oiled thrill.” Shot in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, $ is one of my favorite movies from the period, and certainly ranks today as an underrated treasure. Beatty plays a U.S. bank-security expert who is hired by a German banker (Gert Frobe, showing a much softer side than as the title villain of Goldfinger) to bolster the security at his bank. Beatty, meanwhile, is secretly plotting, with giggly prostitute Goldie Hawn, to rob it. But only part of it – the safety deposit boxes filled by crooks, who can’t report the thefts of their ill-gotten gains. The movie has a bank robbery sequence that is one of the best ever, followed by an outrageously, inventively extended chase scene that goes by foot, by car, by train, and, amazingly, over a frozen lake. And all of it propelled not only but Beatty’s sly performance and by Hawn’s effortless sex appeal, but by a deliciously inventive musical score, written by Quincy Jones and featuring, among others, Little Richard. This is shown late at night tonight on TCM, but obviously, I’m enough of a fan to encourage you to record and watch it. If you do, let me know what you think… and Happy New Year!
 
 
 
 
 
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