Cinemagraphe

The Biggest Bundle of Them All - 1968



The Biggest Bundle of Them All - 1968

The Biggest Bundle of Them All, Released - Jan 17, 1968. Directed by Ken Annakin

In an effort to steal a trainload of platinum in Italy, Robert Wagner (as Harry Price) teams up with retired mafioso Cesare Celli (Vittorio De Sica), and using a plan devised by "Professor Samuels" (Edward G Robinson) they assemble the tools and equipment needed to stop the train, break into the guarded freight car, and to spirit away the loot to a waiting airplane (a surplus WWII B-17 bomber) with the intention to then getting it out of the country to Morocco.

The problem is that Cesare and Harry are always arguing over who should be in charge of their gang of mostly incompetent and completely amateur crooks (Godfrey Cambridge, Davy Kaye, Francesco Mule). To further add to their problems, Harry seems to think every problem can be solved by waving a gun around, and "Mafioso" Cesase is not really retired, but more put-out-to-pasture because his connections and know-how is ridiculously not up to the task at hand.

The film is light-hearted and well-oiled with jokes, and the script by Sy Salkowitz and Josef Shaftel parodies other "heist" movies like Ocean's Eleven. Instead of the precision and split-second improvisation featured in other robbery movies of this type, in The Biggest Bundle of Them All the only thing that operates according to plan for these likeable crooks is the 'Professor's' ingenious use of an old tank, a conveyor belt and other bits of technology as they swipe the platinum and then load it onto the Flying Fortress which proves in the end to have too many buttons in the cockpit.

Director Annakin makes the most of the beautiful Italian countryside and Raquel Welch, both of which are central to the film visuals. The music by Riz Ortoiano emphasizes Italy, but it comes pounding into scenes so loudly and repeatedly that it requires some patience.


Original Page Jan 2018

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