Wednesday, July 30, 2014

SNOW JOB (1972)

SNOW JOB (1972) features a thin, transparent plot with Olympic gold medalist Jean-Claude Killy starring as a ski instructor who cooks up a plot to steal a quarter of a million dollars from the resort where he works.

He enlists his rich girlfriend (real life wife Daniele Gaubert) and an American pal (Cliff Potts) to help with the scheme and all's well until a charming insurance investigator played by Italian cinema legend Vittorio De Sica arrives to find the stolen cash.

Director George Englund takes his time with SNOW JOB's setup and heist, showcasing the skiing skills that made Killy an international star. Unfortunately, the skier is no actor and is largely outshone by both Potts and De Sica and has surprisingly little chemistry with his wife, who would disappear from the big screen after this flick.

Working from a script by first-time scribe Jeffrey Bloom (who would go on to write and direct such 80s schlock as BLOOD BEACH and FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC), Englund somehow manages to make SNOW JOB feel both languid and rushed. Clocking in at an even 90 minutes, he crams the film's best part – Enrico Dolphi (De Sica) arriving in town to investigate the heist – into the last 15 or 20 minutes while too much time is spent watching Killy and Co. schush around the mountain to Jacques Loussier's jaunty score.

I suppose SNOW JOB is supposed to capture the same crackle as heist flicks like GRAND SLAM (1967) but Englund never creates much tension with either the robbery or its aftermath. If you've watched a couple of similar European "caper" flicks you're bound to see the twist coming from miles away. This was Killy's only dramatic role though he would make an ill-advised appearance as himself in the 1983 Jim Carrey dud COPPER MOUNTAIN, co-starring Alan Thicke and Dick Gautier.

Available via streaming on Warner Archive and Amazon, SNOW JOB is one of those obscure flicks that's itching for a proper remake.

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