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STANLEY BAKER, DAVID WARNER, URSULA ANDRESS 'PERFECT FRIDAY'

Title: PERFECT FRIDAY Year: 1970 Rating: ***1/2

In the stylish and quirky British bank-heist comedy PERFECT FRIDAY the most offbeat aspect is the editing, providing non-linear time sequences where uptight banker Stanley Baker meets with a flaky Lord played by David Warner in a museum... a single conversation randomly spliced throughout the first twenty-minutes as we get to know Baker's dull banking desk job... until Ursula Andress walks in...

Visually Baker's proper/classy role is to the tough guy actor what THE THOMAS CROWNE AFFAIR was to Steve McQueen, only his Mr. Graham has very little money,.. as does a perpetually-broke Warner in an almost sexless marriage to Andress, making for the usual "who'll backstab who?" criminal trio, common in this genre...

Ursula Andress and Stanley Baker in PERFECT FRIDAY

The problem is also what works throughout the first half as director Peter Hall provides a creatively choppy rhythm that deletes any superfluous moments... none of the conversations between the three members (always two at a time) lasts longer than needed to provide just-enough exposition to move the story forward...

But the idiosyncrasies eventually exhaust the heist-at-hand, making Andress's potential fatale, Baker's Henry Higgins-type and Warner's odd-man-out get lost in the director's frantic process, ultimately feeling more like an overlong (though nicely constructed) movie trailer than a sparse 90-minute caper.

David Warner and Stanley Baker in PERFECT FRIDAY
David Warner and Stanley Baker in PERFECT FRIDAY
David Warner and Stanley Baker in PERFECT FRIDAY
Ursula Andress and Stanley Baker in PERFECT FRIDAY
Stanley Baker in PERFECT FRIDAY
Ursula Andress in PERFECT FRIDAY
Ursula Andress in PERFECT FRIDAY
Stanley Baker and David Warner in PERFECT FRIDAY
David Warner in PERFECT FRIDAY
Ursula Andress in PERFECT FRIDAY

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