Charles Grodin is an interesting actor, I mean he has so far been great in just about everything that I have seen him in, from the first Beethoven movie, to Midnight Run (1988) with Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver).
With that said, the first time that I did end up watching Mr. Grodin’s work, I was a kid and saw him in the first Beethoven movie, and thought that he was great in it, but since then I had not seen him in anything else… I mean I have seen some of his movies on the shelves at the movie store but had never put much of an emphasis on his work… Boy was that a mistake!
Unfortunately though that means that I am just coming to discover this man’s talent as an actor and how well he does beyond just doing comedy! With that said the latest one that I have been able to check out is the movie, 11 Harrowhouse (1974):
Written by: Jeffrey Bloom (Dogpound Shuffle) and Charles Grodin (Rosemary’s Baby), Directed by: Aram Avakian (Cops And Robbers). Starring: Charles Grodin, Candice Bergen (The Wind And The Lion), James Mason (Mandingo), Trevor Howard (Sword Of The Valiant: The Legend Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight) and Helen Cherry (Conduct Unbecoming).
11 Harrow House tells the story of Howard R. Chesser (Grodin). Now Chesser is a below average diamond seller from the United States that flies over to the England every once in awhile to pick up new stones to be cut and then sold from the world famous diamond house in England known as, ‘The System’…
With that said Howard is so small time that he is treated like dirt by just about everyone except for his filthy rich daredevil girl friend by the name of Miren Shirell (Bergen)… That is until Chesser is made an offer that he can’t refuse…
What I mean by this is that during one of the trips that Chesser and Mirren make to England to pick up some new stones from 11 Harrowhouse, Chesser and Miren are stopped by a man who looks and acts like he is going to mug Miren and Chesser… After making sure that Chesser couldn’t move, the man hands him an envelope.
Now it turns out that in the envelope is an invite from the richest person in England, by the name of Clyde Massey (Howard). Now Massey hires Chesser to acquire for him a cut diamond that is so large that it can be called, ‘The Massey Diamond.’
After Chesser agree’s and with a million dollars in hand, Chesser heads back to 11 Harrowhouse and buys their biggest rock. Then after that Miren and Chesser head for Belgium to have the stone cut properly… Here is when the interesting part really begins…
You see, while traveling back through Europe toward England, Chesser and Miren end up getting attacked and the diamond is stolen! But that is not the end of it…
You see to make up for the loss of the stone, both Chesser and Miren agree to be contracted once again by Massey to rob 11 Harrowhouse of all of it’s stones (worth more then 1 billion dollars!)
With that said, what I like about this movie and am convinced makes this an awesome b movie is a couple of things:
1. Besides Charles Grodin, I gotta say that I thought all of the cast did amazing, including Candice Bergen, Trevor Howard and James Mason!
2. I thought that you guys might find this interesting, but in my research it turns out that this was the last film that actor Clive Morton (Young Winston) was in (Clive Morton played the chairman, Sir Harold in this movie.)
3. Also this is kind of funny, but it turns out that during the filming of this movie, traffic in London’s Mayfair was brought to a virtual stand still due to filming of this movie at Berkley Square!
With that said folks, if your looking for a fun heist movie to watch, then I highly recommend this one, it is pretty awesome!
With out a trailer available, I thought that you guys would enjoy the first few minutes of the movie itself!