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Deadfall

Deadfall

By Patrick Samuel • January 29th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 2/5
DEADFALL (DVD)

Release date: January 31st 2011
Certificate (UK): 12
Running time: 145 minutes
Year of production:1968

Director: Bryan Forbes

Cast: Michael Caine, Giovanna Ralli, Eric Portman, David Buck, Leonard Rossiter

During the late 1960’s Michael Caine made some great films which established him as one of Britain’s top stars at the time. Spy thrillers such as The Ipcress File (1965) and Funeral in Berlin (1966), along with action and adventure movies Battle of Britain (1969) and The Italian Job (1969), and of course comedies like Alfie (1966) showed he could move easily between genres and look effortlessly cool while doing it.

But then there’s Deadfall, based on the novel by Desmond Cory and directed by Bryan Forbes. In his recent autobiography The Elephant of Hollywood, Caine says of the film:

Deadfall

“I then went off to Spain to do the first of a two-picture deal for Twentieth Century Fox. Deadfall was directed by my old friend Bryan Forbes and although the movie didn’t turn out as well as we’d hoped, it was a happy time.”

In the movie Caine plays a cat burglar, Henry Clarke. While staying at a spa for recovering alcoholics he’s approached by jewel thief Fé Moreau (Ralli) with a proposition to join her and her husband Richard (Portman) on a heist they’re planning. Henry accepts and they head to Spain for the job, but he begins to fall in love with Fe. With Richard being gay, this shouldn’t be such a big problem. As he begins to learn more about the couple it becomes clear that he really should have stayed at the spa.

Deadfall begins a very slow descent towards melodrama more suited to a Tennessee Williams play than a jewellery heist film. It also doesn’t help that the film has a running time of over two hours. What should have been a tense and exciting scene with Henry breaking into a safe while a classical concert is playing elsewhere in the building is a painfully long and drawn out sequence.

deadfall

Other scenes where the movie tries to be daring and modern don’t have the power of dialogue to really push the envelope, as the melodramas from the 1950’s did. These flaws make Deadfall a confused and poorly put together film, despite Caine’s magnetism. It’s hardly surprising then that the only mention of it in his book is just 2 lines long.

Although it has all the ingredients of a classic Bond movie, even down to the music by John Barry and a theme song “My Love Has Two Faces” sung by Shirley Bassey, Deadfall is like its title suggests.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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