4 June 2008 | lee_eisenberg
Switzerland also has that Nazi gold, don't forget.
Having collaborated on "The Longest Yard", director Robert Aldrich cast Burt Reynolds and Eddie Albert again in the enigmatic "Hustle". Reynolds plays LA cop Phil Gaines. He and his wife have basically no relationship, so Phil lives with call girl Nicole Britton (Catherine Deneuve). When a young woman gets found dead on the beach one day, Phil and his colleague Louis Belgrave (Paul Winfield) get hired to investigate. They conclude that she died of a self-induced drug overdose. But they don't tell her parents (Ben Johnson and Eileen Brennan) that there were massive amounts of semen in all three orifices of the woman's body, and that the woman was a stripper in a nightclub. The father is convinced that this was not a suicide, and is determined to investigate on his own if necessary.
I have to say that the movie has a rather convoluted plot: the number of characters - and the question of each character's relationship to each other - makes the whole thing hard to follow at times. As it is, following the revelation of the body at the beginning, the movie sort of throws Phil into the story from right out of the blue. It seems that mostly, the movie functions as a look at the underbelly of 1970s LA, including a hostage situation in one scene. And, if all else fails, there's always something sexy for Catherine Deneuve to do (namely the part about what Switzerland has). A surprise appearance - although they do credit him - is Ernest Borgnine as Phil and Louis's superior; he's the only character who seems as if he's about to have a seizure or something.
Overall, I think that the movie is seeing, if only once. While it is true that the movie progresses pretty slowly, I actually would assert that that adds some realism: not every detective/action story has to be a series of explosions and mayhem.
All in all, a worthwhile movie. BTW, did you notice who the hold up man at the end is? It's Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. And I wonder if David Spielberg is related to Steven Spielberg.
Sammy Davis Jr. hugging Nixon...