Free YouTube video & music downloader
The Grissom Gang (1971)

The Grissom Gang (1971)

Kim DarbyScott WilsonTony MusanteRobert Lansing
Robert Aldrich


The Grissom Gang (1971) is a English movie. Robert Aldrich has directed this movie. Kim Darby,Scott Wilson,Tony Musante,Robert Lansing are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1971. The Grissom Gang (1971) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.

Set in the Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the British film No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948).

The Grissom Gang (1971) Reviews

  • The best movie of the rural-America-gangster genre


    If a movie deserves the definition of hard-boiled, this is "Grissom Gang". The characters seem to know just a way to face any problem, either major or minor: kill, kill, kill. The setting in the rural, poor Midwest in the years of Depression is both evocative and grinding: it gives the audience a feeling of bleakness and unavoidable violence. The story is carefully constructed, exciting, full of suspense. The characters are very well shaped, much care is given to details. The direction by Aldrich is superb: the action scenes are beautifully filmed, the timing is admirable. In the development of the plot we don't find those failures of strain, digressions and intervals of bore which were so common in the movies of those years, under pretension of style. All the actors' performances are outstanding. Scott Wilson draws, with masterly acting, the extraordinary character of Slim Grissom. At first, he seems just a half-witted hooligan, but we quickly realize that he is the toughest of them all, looking at other characters' behavior: they are all scared of him, even his gang mates. Actually, the smart gangster Tony Musante seems to take fun in teasing the stupid Slim: but it is clear that this is by no means a good idea. Wilson's acting gives likelihood to Grissom's possessive, infantile, somewhat touching love for Miss Blandish (Kim Darby). He states that, to save her, he is ready to kill his own mother: we have already learned to never underestimate his words. Kim Darby deserves a special mention, in the role of the spoiled girl who learns to survive at all costs, sexual abuse included. She is great here, she was extraordinary in "True Grit": I wonder why she didn't become a major Hollywood star. Despite some minor faults, "Grissom Gang" is excellent, by far better, in my opinion, of other celebrated movies of the same rural-America-gangster genre, such as Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde", Altman's "Thieves like us", Corman's "Bloody Mama".

  • THE GRISSOM GANG (Robert Aldrich, 1971) ***


    Given its considerable reputation, it seems incredible to me that I've had this film on VHS for over a decade but only now have I gotten round to watching it! Actually, I opted to have a go at it finally after having just watched another James Hadley Chase adaptation - CRIME ON A SUMMER MORNING (1965) - the previous day...but also because, distressingly, many VHS tapes I've had for a very long time are starting to rot on me!! Made in the wake of the gangster-film revival spawned by the runaway success of BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967), it can also be seen as a companion piece to Roger Corman's BLOODY MAMA (1970). The film was much criticized at the time for its violence - coming in what is perhaps the cinema's most notorious year, with the likes of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE DEVILS, DIRTY HARRY, GET CARTER and STRAW DOGS! - but its gallery of grotesques is at least just as disagreeable!! It doesn't really have any sympathetic characters, but "The Grissom Gang" itself is such a lurid menagerie of harridans, dimwits and sleazeballs that one would doubtless need a shower after having spent two hours in this company! For what it's worth, the film is extremely well made (compelling, richly-detailed, exceptionally acted) and even very funny if one is attuned to the director's uniquely absurdist and delirious mind-set. Still, its general unwholesomeness may well have curtailed Kim Darby's cinematic career - though here she demonstrates remarkable maturity when compared to her fresh-faced sparring with John Wayne in TRUE GRIT (1969). Scott Wilson's role is perhaps the best he ever had (even keeping in mind his impeccable work in both IN COLD BLOOD [1967] and THE NINTH CONFIGURATION [1980]) - though his dumb backwoods hoodlum, alternating between mother-fixation and drooling over Darby, eventually overstays its welcome. Irene Dailey's relentlessly overwrought performance as Ma Grissom (needless to say, the actress' most significant role), then, borders on camp and matches Shelley Winters in BLOODY MAMA. Tony Musante embodies the stylish side of crime with his chic attire and playboy ways, who's bound to clash with Wilson over attractive kidnapped heiress Darby. Also notable in the cast are Connie Stevens as Musante's ill-fated moll, Robert Lansing as the journalist investigating the kidnapping case and Wesley Addy as Darby's contemptuous father (who considers her 'tainted' by the experience and actually doesn't want her back!). The finale, then, with the majority of the gang decimated at their hide-out - followed by Wilson's come-uppance outside a barn (after having spent the night with Darby for the last time) is appropriately vivid. By the way, the novel on which this is based had been filmed in Britain in 1948 under its original title, "No Orchids For Miss Blandish", but that version is only remembered - if at all - for how bad it actually was!

  • An extremely brutal, potent and unnerving 70's seriocomic crime sleeper winner


    The 1930's. Spoiled and snotty wealthy heiress Barbara Blandish (superbly played to prissy perfection by Kim Darby) gets abducted by a vicious family of depraved and dangerous outlaws. Complications ensue when the infantile, yet lethal and volatile Slim Grissom (a remarkable performance by Scott Wilson) falls for Barbara. Barbara soon realizes that she will have to do whatever it takes to stay alive. Director Robert Aldrich, working from a tough and biting script by Leon Griffiths, expertly maintains a tense and sordid atmosphere throughout, offers a vivid, grimy and credible evocation of the bleak and desperate Depression era, stages the sporadic shoot-outs and startling outbursts of raw, bloody violence with his customary flair, and further spices things up with a wickedly funny sense of pitch-black humor. Moreover, Aldrich and Griffiths score bonus points for their admirable refusal to either sanitize or romanticize the clan of ferocious and frightening criminals in any way; these folks are truly mean, scary and even downright grotesque. The thespians who portray this ghastly bunch all do sterling work: Tony Musante as smooth heel Eddie Hagan, Irene Dailey as fearsome, venomous matriarch Gladys "Ma" Grissom, Joey Faye as the jolly Woppy, Ralph Waite as the excitable Mace, and Don Keefer as the timid, laid-back Doc. Contributing equally fine supporting turns are Robert Lansing as shrewd, weary private eye Dave Fenner, Connie Stevens as brassy, cynical, dim-witted tramp singer Anna Borg, and Wesley Addy as Barbara's cold, disapproving millionaire father John P. Blandish. Better still, we've also got a strangely touching, albeit off-kilter central love story amid all the stark cruelty and unsparing unpleasantness. Gerald Fried's sprightly, rousing score, a jaunty soundtrack of vintage catchy 30's swing tunes, Joseph F. Biroc's sharp, polished cinematography, and the devastating downbeat ending all further enhance the overall sound quality of this supremely harsh, but still gripping and satisfying crime saga.

  • "Well, It's Better'n Bein' Dead, Ain't It?"


    A wealthy society girl is kidnapped by small-time hoodlums who are bushwhacked in their turn by a bigger, meaner gang. During her ordeal as a captive, Miss Blandish 'does what she has to, to stay alive'. The 1939 novel "No Orchids For Miss Blandish" is the source for this film. In its time, the book was attacked (not least by George Orwell) for being a work of prurient, sadistic pornography. The film remains faithful to the original in that it deals enthusiastically in squalor, cruelty and sexual incontinence. In the sweaty, malodorous world of the 1930's criminal underclass, the crooks show no mercy to those who fall into their clutches and expect no quarter for themselves. The rich are no moral paragons, either. They behave boorishly at social functions, and John Blandish regards his daughter as a piece of property, losing interest in her when he realises that she has become 'soiled goods'. Prohibition is shown to be the root of the nation's ills. Outlawing alcohol leads to excessive consumption, enriches the criminals and contributes to a feverish atmosphere of self-indulgence. The action is set in the empty, impoverished MidWest of the Depression. These small-time criminals cannot even lay claim to the dubious glamour of the Chicago gangsters. This is the world of Bonnie and Clyde rather than Capone and Luciano, and indeed the film owes much to Warren Beatty's groundbreaking "Bonnie and Clyde", made two years earlier. Kim Darby gives a towering performance as Barbara Blandish. The role could hardly be more radically different from her first starring part, two years previously, as the asexual Mattie in "True Grit". She triumphs as the "uppety little bitch" who learns gradually and painfully that if she is to cling to life, she is going to have to descend to the gutter. Barbara grows as a person by virtue of the suffering she undergoes. The other truly outstanding performance is that of Scott Wilson as Slim, the lecherous simpleton. Wilson is terrific in the role of the feeble-witted knifeman who gets turned on by killing people, but who remains in essence a child. Slim forms an attachment to Miss Blandish, and is ennobled by this hopeless, wrongheaded love affair. When he first makes sexual advances towards her, she rejects him in horror "because you're odious". Eventually, she comes to see the good in Slim, and Wilson gives his character a vulnerability and a yearning to outgrow his limitations which ultimately make the "cretinous halfwit" a sympathetic character. In this nasty world of lowlifes and hustlers where men are gunned down and left to die in urinal troughs, David Fenner (Robert Lansing) is a tough and astute investigator who can more than hold his own against the bad guys. Scamming the scammers, he finally tracks down the kidnappers much more efficiently than the police are able to. Played by Lansing with an amusing tongue-in-cheek gravitas, Fenner is the one untarnished hero in the whole film. Connie Stevens camps it up in delightful self-parody as Anna Berg, the classic dumb blonde speakeasy singer, the moll who's always teetering on the verge of prostitution. Eddie is played by Tony Musante as an impressive study in charming, but heartless, villainy. Eddie exploits Anna, murders potential witnesses and torments the slow-witted Slim, all without the vestige of a scruple. Ma Grissom (Irene Dailey) is the ugly-natured mastermind who runs the shabby little gang. She gives her captive debutante a horrible beating for trying to escape, and her whole existence is mean and joyless, but she attains a kind of decency in the final bulletfest. As the film draws to a close, it is not clear whether Miss Blandish has grown to love her tormentor, or merely to pity him. This is a satisfying conclusion. Open love would be too easy and sentimental. We are left pondering whether sex and love are distinct experiences, and marvelling that tenderness can flourish in this unpromising terrain.

  • Wilson's Most Intense w/demented haircut!


    This little gem of a film was treated as exploitation trash, but a fascinating kidnapping tale with unrequited love and dysfunctional family relations. Scott Wilson (so brilliant in In Cold Blood) is incredible as Slim, the lonely offbeat member of the gang who is somewhat understood (but very edgy). Throw in Kim Darby, Tony Musante, Irene Dailey (more demented than she was in Five Easy Pieces), and Joey Faye as Woppy, how wrong can you go? There's a good sense of time period. This film is nothing compared to Bonnie and Clyde, but closer to Thieves Like Us. Connie Stevens is an added attraction. Give these folks a chance. Rated 7 out of 10.


Hot Search