The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968)

105 or 106 mins | Comedy | 17 January 1968

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HISTORY

In a 4 Nov 1964 Var news item, The Biggest Bundle of Them All was listed as one of several upcoming projects for Berkshire Productions, recently set up by filmmaker Josef Shaftel following his departure from Don Fedderson Productions.
       Warren Beatty was cast, according to a 17 Mar 1966 DV brief, but he did not remain with the project. Cliff Robertson was also offered a role, as noted in the 23 Mar 1966 DV.
       Principal photography took place in Italy and France. A production chart in the 29 Apr 1966 DV stated that shooting had commenced 26 Apr 1966, but a later item in the 3 May 1966 DV reported that filming had begun the previous day in Naples, Italy. The 22 Jun 1966 Var noted that production was about to move to the French Riviera for four weeks. Locations there included the “former Riviera villa of the Baroness Rothschild at Cap Ferrat,” according to the 6 Jul 1966 Var. Filming concluded in Italy by late Aug 1966, the 31 Aug 1966 Var stated.
       The budget was listed in contemporary sources as $1.8-$2 million.
       Theatrical release was delayed until early Jan 1968 when Columbia Pictures discovered that The Biggest Bundle of Them All had a strikingly similar plot to its 1967 release, The Happening (see entry). An article in the 6 Dec 1967 Var stated that Sam Spiegel, a producer of The Happening, agreed not to file a lawsuit against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in exchange for a percentage of the profits on ... More Less

In a 4 Nov 1964 Var news item, The Biggest Bundle of Them All was listed as one of several upcoming projects for Berkshire Productions, recently set up by filmmaker Josef Shaftel following his departure from Don Fedderson Productions.
       Warren Beatty was cast, according to a 17 Mar 1966 DV brief, but he did not remain with the project. Cliff Robertson was also offered a role, as noted in the 23 Mar 1966 DV.
       Principal photography took place in Italy and France. A production chart in the 29 Apr 1966 DV stated that shooting had commenced 26 Apr 1966, but a later item in the 3 May 1966 DV reported that filming had begun the previous day in Naples, Italy. The 22 Jun 1966 Var noted that production was about to move to the French Riviera for four weeks. Locations there included the “former Riviera villa of the Baroness Rothschild at Cap Ferrat,” according to the 6 Jul 1966 Var. Filming concluded in Italy by late Aug 1966, the 31 Aug 1966 Var stated.
       The budget was listed in contemporary sources as $1.8-$2 million.
       Theatrical release was delayed until early Jan 1968 when Columbia Pictures discovered that The Biggest Bundle of Them All had a strikingly similar plot to its 1967 release, The Happening (see entry). An article in the 6 Dec 1967 Var stated that Sam Spiegel, a producer of The Happening, agreed not to file a lawsuit against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in exchange for a percentage of the profits on The Biggest Bundle of Them All, rumored to be close to twenty-five percent. MGM also agreed to delay the opening of its film until eight months after The Happening’s release. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Mar 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Mar 1966
p. 12.
Daily Variety
23 Mar 1966
p. 6.
Daily Variety
29 Apr 1966
p. 11.
Daily Variety
3 May 1966
p. 9.
Daily Variety
16 Jan 1968
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
12 Apr 1966
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
11 Sep 1966
Section N, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
14 Feb 1968
Section D, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
15 Feb 1968
Section D, p. 12.
New York Times
8 May 1966
p. 9, 11.
New York Times
11 Sep 1966
p. 15, 18.
New York Times
18 Jan 1968.
---
Variety
4 Nov 1964
p. 15.
Variety
6 Apr 1966
p. 20.
Variety
6 Apr 1966
p. 29.
Variety
22 Jun 1966
p. 17.
Variety
6 Jul 1966
p. 7, 12.
Variety
31 Aug 1966
p. 22.
Variety
14 Sep 1966
p. 3.
Variety
6 Dec 1967
p. 3.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Josef Shaftel-Sy Stewart Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
Guitar
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Cont
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Biggest Bundle of Them All," words and music by Ritchie Cordell and Sal Trimachi, sung by Eric Burdon
"Most of All There's You," words and music by Riz Ortolani and Norman Newell, sung by Johnny Mathis.
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 January 1968
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 January 1968
Los Angeles opening: 14 February 1968
Production Date:
began 26 April or 2 May 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Copyright Date:
31 October 1967
Copyright Number:
LP34813
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
105 or 106
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Harry Price and his inept crew of amateur criminals kidnap Cesare Celli, an exiled American gangster living in Italy and hold him for ransom. When it turns out that none of Celli's friends will bail him out, he conceives the idea of a $5-million platinum robbery both as a way of repaying Price and his gang for their kidnapping effort and to retaliate against a world that has passed him by. Celli puts the novice criminals through rigorous physical training and brings in the renowned Professor Samuels to mastermind the heist. The gang encounters numerous difficulties in raising capital for the robbery, but finally they are ready to put their plan into action. The special railway car carrying the platinum will be blocked by a surplus tank, and the loot will be loaded onto a hijacked bomber for transport to a fence in Morocco. Despite consistent bumbling and threats by Harry and his girl friend Juliana to betray Celli and abscond with the platinum, the robbery is successful and the plane makes its getaway. All the gang's efforts come to naught, however, when the plane's bomb doors are accidentally opened and the platinum descends into the waiting arms of the ... +


Harry Price and his inept crew of amateur criminals kidnap Cesare Celli, an exiled American gangster living in Italy and hold him for ransom. When it turns out that none of Celli's friends will bail him out, he conceives the idea of a $5-million platinum robbery both as a way of repaying Price and his gang for their kidnapping effort and to retaliate against a world that has passed him by. Celli puts the novice criminals through rigorous physical training and brings in the renowned Professor Samuels to mastermind the heist. The gang encounters numerous difficulties in raising capital for the robbery, but finally they are ready to put their plan into action. The special railway car carrying the platinum will be blocked by a surplus tank, and the loot will be loaded onto a hijacked bomber for transport to a fence in Morocco. Despite consistent bumbling and threats by Harry and his girl friend Juliana to betray Celli and abscond with the platinum, the robbery is successful and the plane makes its getaway. All the gang's efforts come to naught, however, when the plane's bomb doors are accidentally opened and the platinum descends into the waiting arms of the police. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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