Unlike the last few entries, this Moviedrome Monday will not feature a youtube video link to presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to Robert Aldrich’s 1971 period gangster film The Grissom Gang. The reason for this is because I could not find a youtube video link to it, so my readers will have to rely on his transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was July 16, 1989 (read here). Although Cox calls the film efficient, he is not as crazy about it when compared to my reaction. Whereas Cox subtly criticizes it’s use of color, for me, Aldrich and screenwriter Leon Griffiths decision to depict the title characters more as caricatures was more than offset by the vibe that it (and in this case a rarity) came off as fascinating. Interesting pieces of trivia: this is the second Aldrich film to premiere on Moviedrome (the first was …All the Marbles – a.k.a. The California Dolls). This is also the second film adaptation of James Hadley Chase’s 1939 novel No Orchids for Miss Blandish – the previous version (a British production btw) came out in 1948 from director St. John Legh Clowes under that aforementioned name. In case you readers missed it, here is a link to my list of my favorite Robert Aldrich films (read here).
Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer
13 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: The Grissom Gang (1971)”
Wow. It looks great. The acting looks top rate.
Aldrich was an unusual Director. He made both Classics: Vera Cruz; Flight of the Phoenix; Ulzana’s Raid; … and some outright formula commercial trash: Dirty Dozen; The Longest Yard; 4 for Texas … ??? A rather strange legacy. He was … different?
I really enjoyed The Grissom Gang. At a time when we had already seen both ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ and ‘Bloody Mama’, the film got lukewarm reviews here. I recall one called it ‘Sleazy’, another ‘Unpleasant’. I liked it, especially the relationship between Kim Darby and Scott Wilson as that developed.
Best wishes, Pete.
What is interesting is it may be one of the few (I am sure there are others out there) films I have seen in which while the characters may come off more as caricatures; they are fascinating ones and that more than offsets what could have been a serious problem. So yeah check out The Grissom Gang and thanks for dropping by 🙂
Do not forget to add Kiss Me Deadly to the former group. As for the latter, I read somewhere that Aldrich was unhappy with 4 for Texas. Here is a link to that story below and thanks for dropping by 🙂
The critics trashing of The Grissom Gang at the time was not too different from how the 1948 film (No Orchids for Miss Blandish) was treated. The only difference is, that one still remains a terrible film whereas The Grissom Gang has at least been re-evaluated to an extent. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
Robert Aldrich has always been one of my favorite under-rated directors. I haven’t seen The Grissom Gang since Moviedrome, I did watch The Flight of the Phoenix again recently though. Kiss me Deadly, Ulzana’s Raid and Too Late the Hero rank among my favorite Aldrich’s too.
Every single title you just mentioned from the Robert Aldrich back catalogue is a masterpiece 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
Why is it whenever I see that “The Grissom Gang” I think about CSI?
I think it is because of William Petersen’s Gil Grissom character on there 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
I love those shows…..*LOL* Can’t wait to see what you showcasing next Monday!