HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
   
 
  Master Touch, The Crack on KirkBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Michele Lupo
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Giuliano Gemma, Florinda Bolkan, Wolfgang Preiss, Reinhard Kolldehoff, Romano Puppo, Bruno Corazzari, John Bartha, Allen Stanley, Vittorio Fanfoni, Luigi Antonio Guerra
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Fresh out of prison, professional thief Steve Wallace (Kirk Douglas) is abruptly drawn away from a reunion with his wife Anna (Florinda Bolkan) by an old associate. Miller (Wolfgang Preiss), the crime boss responsible for botching the robbery that sent Steve to jail, now offers him a bigger job. Namely rob a hi-tech bank vault in Hamburg with computer-controlled locks and a state-of-the art surveillance system. Steve turns Miller down, declaring the job impossible. He then recruits Marco (Giuliano Gemma), a skilled circus acrobat, to pull off the heist by himself.

Like many a big Hollywood star in the waning days of the studio system Kirk Douglas periodically appeared in Italian movies. Whether a sumptuous sword and sandal romp like Ulysses (1954) or glossy trash like Holocaust 2000 (1977), Kirk's European output tended to be slicker with bigger budgets. Most likely banking on his international caché. The Master Touch was his only Euro-crime thriller. True to form it is a classier production for this genre with cinematography by the great Tonino Delli Colli and a sparse but foreboding soundtrack by maestro Ennio Morricone. It is no surprise Kirk Douglas was drawn to the role of master safe-cracker Steve Wallace. The character fits neatly into his cycle of lone wolf against a hostile world roles. Here Steve risks his marriage with the loving, patient Anna to pull of one last big score, seemingly to prove he has not lost his touch. Unusually for a Euro-crime thriller the marriage is a key component of the story. The tension and tenderness evident in Steve's relationship with Anna, who repeatedly urges him to abandon the heist, adds a humane note. Florinda Bolkan, at her best portraying strong women, holds her own against a broodingly charismatic Douglas.

Probably the least developed character in the film is Marco. Giuliano Gemma, then making the transition from spaghetti westerns to more diverse roles, lands ample opportunities to show off his acrobatic skills. He handles the action sequences Kirk would have likely performed himself twenty years before. Michele Lupo, who made the frothier crime capers Your Turn to Die (1967) and Seven Times Seven (1968) and worked repeatedly with Gemma throughout the Sixties and Seventies, intersperses the drama with breakneck action sequences typical of the genre. Among them a remarkable car chase that stands as one of the most memorably outlandish of the Seventies. However, a silly subplot tracking one henchman's relentless pursuit of Marco wears out its welcome in a cycle of repetitive fight scenes. And Marco himself, for all his affable nature, emerges an inscrutable sort.

While The Master Touch (released in some territories under the alternate title: A Man to Respect) delivers action, Lupo chiefly fetishizes Steve's meticulous planning and execution of the heist. His analysis of the site and ingenious outwitting of its security system are all the more fascinating for their focus on mid-Seventies analogue technology. Heist movies involve a tricky balancing act lest the films veer towards the superficial. If Lupo gets a little too caught up in the minutiae of the heist and loses sight of the underlining themes a grim third act twist gets things back on track, underlining the story is really about the toll taken on a marriage.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 241 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: