Gambit (1966): Neame’s Heist Movie, Starring Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine

In Ronald Neame’s heist movie, “Gambit,” Michael Caine plays a thief seeking to get a statuette owned by Herbert Lom, to which goal, he enlists the help of a Eurasian femme (Shirley McClaine, miscast).

The movie owes its existence to the far more entertaining “Topkapi,” which launched a cycle of international productions with big budgets and high-profile cast dealing with heist of museums or expensive estates.

For Michael Caine, 1966 was a banner year, having appeared in Alfie,” for which he was Oscar nominated, and in “Gambit.”

 

Oscar Nominations: 3

Art direction-set decoration (color): Alexander Golitzen and George C. Webb; John McCarthy and John Austin

Costume design: Jean Louis

Sound: Waldon O. Watson, sound director, Universal Sound Department

 

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context

 The Art Direction Oscar was won by the picture “Fantastic Voyage.”  “The Grand Prix” won the Sound Oscar, and Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge were the recipients of the Costume Design Oscar for “A Man for All Season,” which swept the 1966 Oscars, winning Best Picture, Best Director for Zinnemann, and Best Actor for Paul Scofield.