8 December 2016 | bkoganbing
A Raffles Job
Playing the title role of Lassiter in this film is Tom Selleck at the height of his television stardom with Magnum, PI. He's an American expatriate now living in London and making a nice living as a society burglar. He must have understudied with Raffles.
But he's got one confirmed enemy in Scotland Yard's Inspector Bob Hoskins. You can see how pained he is when British Intelligence and our own FBI in the person of Joe Regalbuto want him for his services in burglarizing the German Embassy in that year or so when Neville Chamberlain declared peace in our time and World War II actually began.
Selleck is a lot less unflappable than he is as Magnum. That's because Hoskins is just itching to nail him if something goes wrong. There are two prominent female parts, Jane Seymour as the good girl and Lauren Hutton doing her best Marlene Dietrich imitation as full time Nazi seductress and a real man killer literally.
Jewels is his game and a fortune in gems the Germans are known to keep in their embassy is what the British want. They say the sale of the swag will finance all kinds of subversion. Selleck might have alternate uses in mind.
Playing a small but very key role is fellow expatriate Ed Lauter who used to be a bootlegger in the States along with Selleck but left for the United Kingdom where the cops don't carry guns and therefore not likely to shoot you. Lauter is a wheel man and that fact plus the fact that their police don't carry weapons is key to how Selleck pulls the caper off.
Lassiter is a lighthearted caper film and a caper pulled against the most evil of villains is something always the audience will like.