Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Score


From above we see a fat man in a white suit. The way he walks, the sheer size of him … it’s gotta be Sidney Greenstreet. He turns, and … it is Sidney Greenstreet! I thought he was dead! No, wait a minute, wait a minute … oh, shit, it’s only Marlon Brando.

Actually, I’m being mean. Brando is pretty good in this, his last film. The director, Miss Piggy (and who’d a thunk she could be so good at a thriller!), was able to find a way to rein in his excesses. I don’t know how I missed this one when it came out, but it’s a humdinger. It’s almost worthy to stand beside John Frankenheimer’s Ronin, which also starred Robert De Niro. Lord, I love a heist movie, and I love a thriller, and it is pathetic how few of them deliver on their promise. 99% of them self-destruct before the last reel, in an orgy of car chases and shootouts. There’s hardly any violence in this, but there is tension aplenty, of the sort that only very few writers and directors and actors can create. I won’t tell any details because I’d spoil your fun. Let it stand that these guys have to break into an unbreakable place, and it all was logical. Not that I believe anyone could be quite that smart and that competent … but if there was somebody like that, this is all honest and well-thought-out and cogently presented so that, from time to time you go Ahhh! So that’s what that was all about! … and doesn’t rely on superhuman antics a la Mission: Impossible or the countless others of that ilk. See this at once, if you like a thinking person’s thriller.

I must add one bit gleaned from the trivia section of the IMDb. It’s fun to learn this stuff, but sometimes you get a lot more than you wanted to know. They say that, “During breaks, Marlon Brando would walk around the set naked because of the warm weather where the film was being shot.” Now, that is an image I could have done without.