Machine Gun McCain (1969)

GIULIANO MONTALDO

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

Original Title: Gli Intoccabili

, 1969. , , . Story by Mino Roli, Screenplay by , Dialogue by , freely based on the novel Candyleg by . Cinematography by . Produced by , . Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by .

Peter Falk plays an ambitious hood who comes out west to Las Vegas and wants to take over a big time casino. When he is rejected by the mob royalty who controls him, he angrily arranges to rob the casino instead, hiring a young man to recruit his father, a famous thief (John Cassavetes) by getting him out of a lengthy prison sentence (paying the government a fee to get him a pardon, that sounds reasonable). Cassavetes pulls off the job but when he realizes he’s been screwed by the guys who hired him, he decides to grab gal Friday and take the cash for themselves, running off on a chase that has him pursued by armed men everywhere. Le Samourai it is not, and the experience is only perked up by some stunning photography, a few fun car chases and a riveting cameo by Gena Rowlands, whose charisma outdoes everyone else despite her only being in a few scenes. Director Giuliano Montaldo creates a series of gorgeous panoramic images that don’t make up for how silly, confusing and dissatisfying story is, but at least set it apart from much duller, similar films of the time.

Cannes Film Festival: In Competition

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