Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Selleck and the Spooks

Double O Section brings the rather surprising news that Henstooth Video, “an obscure company that specializes in obscure movies,” will finally release a DVD edition of the 1984 adventure-espionage movie Lassiter, which starred Tom Selleck as a gentleman jewel thief. As Wikipedia notes, the film was “made to cash in on Selleck’s popularity as the character Thomas Magnum in the show Magnum, P.I. but failed to ignite the box-office on its release.”

Double O’s Tanner offers a bit of the film’s story line:
In Lassiter, Selleck plays the suave titular cat burglar, operating in 1930s London. When British and American Intelligence get wind of a major diamond shipment moving through the German embassy, the spooks force Lassiter to pull another job--for them, It Takes a Thief-style. As he plots the heist, he finds himself between two beautiful women: his sweet, long-suffering girlfriend, played by former Bond Girl Jane Seymour, and sexy femme fatale Lauren Hutton. Persuaders! composer Ken Thorne provides the jazz-heavy, period-appropriate soundtrack. ... It’s a really fun movie, and for my money Selleck’s best theatrical effort.
Although audiences didn’t line up around the block to watch Lassiter, I went to the see it. Twice in one day, in fact.

I’d just moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1984 to take a magazine job that turned out to be an extremely bad idea. I was, for all intends and purposes, living at a hotel in downtown’s Renaissance Center. That commercial complex included pretty much everything one could want: restaurants, clothing stores, sundry shops, and even a movie theater. With nothing else to do one weekend, I took the elevator down to sample the big-screen fare. Lassiter had recently opened, so I bought a ticket. How bad could it be, I figured.

Well, I enjoyed the picture so much, I decided to stay in my theater seat for a second showing. I wasn’t a huge Magnum fan, but Lassiter’s plot was playful and involved enough to hold my attention, and I loved the period setting. I also fell in love with Jane Seymour, who was only 33 years old when Lassiter was filmed. She had the role of a hard-working but mischievous dancer, fond of Selleck’s Nick Lassiter despite his unpredictable ways.

You can watch a trailer for the movie here.

I don’t think I’ve seen Lassiter once since departing Detroit. Could I be overdue for another viewing? The DVD release is set for April 24.


Joseph Goodrich said...

You've sold me on LASSITER---I'll keep an eye peeled for it. From your description, what's not to like?

Thomas Pluck said...

I recall enjoying this on HBO, and I would rent it again.