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Whatever your opinions of the art-house gloss that used to varnish Malle's films from Lacombe Lucien to Atlantic City, they did at least suggest a beating heart at work. This thin concoction, based on a 1958 Roman comedy, I Soliti Ignoti, has a gang of villains gathering around Warden's rickety pawnshop, mostly to avoid the mean backstreets of San Francisco. Spurred on by poverty and frustration, they decide to crack his safe, only to botch the whole caper in a welter of escalating cack-handedness. There's a nice cameo from Shawn, doing nothing but eat dinner without André, but Sutherland is uncharacteristically null. Cardiac arrest finally seizes the film, after a long case of terminal whimsy. CPea.

Release details

Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Louis Malle
Screenwriter: Jeffrey Fiskin
Cast: Donald Sutherland
Jack Warden
Sean Penn
Wallace Shawn
Larry Riley
Trinidad Silva
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