Harry and Walter Go to New York

A caper film set in the 1890s whose weightily established period atmosphere (carefully gaslit interiors, tones of muted brown and gold) creates a mausoleum-like environment in which all attempts at comedy die the death. The disastrous casting of Caan and Gould as a variety song-and-dance act - unsuccessful, as they demonstrate only too effectively - dooms the project further. There is some fleetingly acute re-creation of the mores of the upper crust of the criminal world, a climax of chaotic mayhem, and a neatly dotty performance from Lesley Ann Warren. The film provides its own epitaph when Caine's underworld star, asked why he keeps on cracking safes, remarks that 'every cell tingles with the possibility of failure'. Failure realised, and with precious little tingle.

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mark Rydell
Screenwriter: John Byrum, Robert Kaufman
Cast: James Caan
Elliott Gould
Michael Caine
Diane Keaton
Charles Durning
Lesley Ann Warren
Val Avery
Jack Gilford
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