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Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round

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Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966)

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The slickest swingin'est con man who ever took the world for a ride!

James Coburn stars in this comedy-melodrama as Eli Kotch, who uses his charm to obtain a parole from prison by having an affair with a female psychologist. Eli's plan upon getting out of jail is to rob a bank at the L.A. International Airport. The date of the bank robbery coincides with the arrival of the Russian premier, so that bank security will be minimal with the premier attracting most of the airport security forces. Harrison Ford appears in his film debut in the bit part of a bellhop.

on man Eli Kotch (James Coburn) charms his way into a parole by playing on the emotions of a pretty psychologist (Marian McCargo), but drops her at the first opportunity to move around the country, romancing women and then stealing their possessions, or those of their employers. He's made a down payment on the blueprints to a bank at Los Angeles International Airport, but needs to raise $45,000 to complete the purchase.

In Boston, he seduces and marries Inger Knudsen (Camilla Sparv) the secretary of a wealthy elderly woman. Eli sends her to L.A. to set up housekeeping, on the pretext that a songwriter there is interested in his poetry. Meanwhile, he burgles another woman (Rose Marie) to get the final amount of money he needs. Eli heads to L.A., where he begins to assemble his gang (Severn Darden, Aldo Ray and Michael Strong) for the bank robbery, which is timed to take place while the airport is distracted by the arrival of the Premier of the Soviet Union.

To keep her occupied, Eli sends Inger to take Polaroid snapshots around L.A., supposedly for a magazine article he is writing. Using costumes stolen from a movie studio, he and one of the gang masquerade as an Australian policeman escorting an extradited prisoner in order to get through airport security, while the other two dress as LAPD policemen to get into the bank, bypass the alarm, and get a bank employee to open the safe.

The gang pulls off the heist and makes a successful getaway to Mexico on a plane. Eli has no idea that Inger has been frantically trying to get in touch with him, because she has inherited $7 million from her former employer.

Release Date: October 12, 19666 by Columbia Pictures


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