Director Robert Aldrich’s subversive 1971 film version of James Hadley Chase’s No Orchids for Miss Blandish (first filmed in Britain in 1948 as No Orchids for Miss Blandish), is one mind-blowing movie.
Kim Darby stars as a 1920s Depression-era heiress, Miss Barbara Blandish, who is kidnapped by a band of dim-witted small-time gangsters and comes under the spell of one of her captors, Slim Grissom (Scott Wilson), who falls in love with her. Aldrich turns the violent material into a tender love story, with an ironic undertone of black comedy, but it also delivers on the gory thriller front.
The Grissom Gang is extraordinary, challenging stuff, and not for the faint hearted.
It really is the film you think Chase would have hoped for from his classic hardboiled pulp shocker.
It is written by Leon Griffiths (the Yorkshire writer and creator of TV’s Minder), shot by Joseph F Biroc, produced by Robert and William Aldrich, scored by Gerald Fried and designed by James Dowell Vance.
Also in the cast are Tony Musante, Irene Dailey, Robert Lansing, Connie Stevens, Ralph Waite, Wesley Addy, Michael Baseleon, Hal Baylor, Matt Clark, Joey Faye, Raymond Guth, Alvin Hammer, Dots Johnson, Don Keefer, Mort Marshall, John Steadman, Dave Willock, Alex Wilson and Elliott Street.
BBFC censor John Trevelyan extensively cut the 1971 cinema release for an X certificate in the UK. The 2001 Fremantle DVD release is 15-rated and fully uncut.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4786
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