Perfect Friday(1970) ##TOP##
The perfect Friday of the title is a day when his manager will predictably feign a cold to nip off to watch a golf tournament, giving him the opportunity to send in a third party to impersonate a bank inspector and get into the vault.
Legendary theatre director Peter Hall brings dynamically cinematic high style to this driest of comedy capers, an ingeniously intricate inside job with enough visual wit in its experimentally Soderberghian use of ironic intercutting and fleet-footed flash-forwards to match a perfectly cast trio of actors, all of whom I've never seen better.
"Perfect Friday" has a light touch without losing tension. Stanley Baker obviously relished the role of Mr. Graham, the seemingly straight-laced and dependable assistant bank manager who enlists a couple of unlikely associates, and hatches a plot to rip off the bank.David Warner's performance as Lord Dorset could stand as a classic reason why hereditary peers of the realm were phased out of seats in the House of Lords, especially when he dozes during a session in parliament. Dorset is supercilious, indolent and broke, but is married to a hot foreign body, Lady Brit (Ursula Andress).Good as Stanley Baker and David Warner are, it's Ursula Andress who gives the film its sparkle. This is the kind of role that was made for her, a femme fatale with a touch of wit. Her voice was dubbed in some of her roles before this, including "Dr No", but her strong accent works well here.According to Wikipedia she appeared nude or semi-nude in 9 of her 14 film roles between 1969 and 1979 - "Perfect Friday" is one of them - when she is on screen she upstages her two co-stars at every turn, and they hardly stand a chance against her in the bedroom.It's also fascinating to see the world they inhabit - it's 1970 and there isn't a desktop computer or mobile phone in site. The caper they commit would probably be very difficult today with things like biometric security with fingerprint, iris and DNA scanners - not to mention vein recognition. These days Lord Dorset's disguise in "Perfect Friday" would fail from about the time he closed the door of his flat to head to the bank. But that's now, and the scam they pull off back then is clever and reasonably plausible.If I have one reservation it would be the music. John Dankworth scored many films around the 60's and 70's, and for the most part they fitted like a glove - I particular liked his "Return from the Ashes". Unfortunately, he was a little over emphatic and obvious here. It's as though he thought it's a comedy so a touch of the circus should be about right. It would have benefited from something a little more understated.However, it doesn't ruin the movie, and Stanley Baker was rightly proud of the finished work. As far as caper films are concerned, "Perfect Friday" is just about perfect.
My own personal opinion is that Carol is an excellent worker, even a perfectionist to some extent, when it comes down to working with known facts like following set procedures from a manual. But when it comes down to the abstract or elementary aspects of a situation, Carol is lost. I don't know if her intelligence is so high that she is unable to see the simple and elementary facts, or just what the problem is. Her work was excellent on both the Auto and Workmen's Compention Assigned Risk Desk everything was in writing and she read the manuals well. She was also good on the Allied Agents, but again this was a set procedure.
Since last summer (1969) Carol has displayed the feeling that she is all perfect everyone else around her is inferior fellow employees, people of Dallas, and society in general. I noticed a great change in Carol and her husband take place last summer and since that time almost all personal friendship has disappeared. She and her husband reached the point of being critical about almost everything around them, and yet they did nothing to correct the problem. 041b061a72