Games (1967)

Genres - Crime, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Games would be a spine-tingling delight if it were only half its length. Not that 100 minutes is too long for the average movie by any means, only that it's too long for the story that Games has to tell. At its present length, there's simply too much padding here, and even though director Curtis Harrington does his best to make that padding interesting, there's only so much he can do to disguise the basic thinness of the material. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Games is the kind of thriller the success of which absolutely depends upon the script being at least one step ahead of the audience at all times. If the viewer figures out what's going on too early -- as many watching Games will -- the rest of the film becomes a bit dull. Even with these shortcomings, Games is still largely enjoyable, thanks primarily to Harrington's skillfully manipulative direction and Simone Signoret's engaging "am I campy or creepy?" performance. True, James Caan is more than a bit forced and Katharine Ross brings nothing new to her role, but these are the kind of parts in which the acting is almost incidental, as long as they don't do anything to derail the proceedings. Watch Games for Signoret, and for the fun Harrington has taking the viewer in with hoary old devices that he somehow makes work.