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Featured DVD Review: Inside Out

February 9th, 2012

Inside Out - Buy from Amazon

Releasing films on DVD-R is a convenient way to deal with lesser known catalog titles. Being able to burn a DVD on demand reduces the upfront cost, you don't need a warehouse to store the Blu-rays, etc. It has become popular for studios releasing their third and fourth titles that no one expects special features for. Last November 23rd, there was a flood of such releases, including Inside Out, but the screener for that film arrived just last week. Is the 1975 film worth checking out? Or was is best forgotten?

Inside Out

The film begins during the late stages of World War II. A German truck carrying four prisoners of war is stopped by what appears to be a routine checkpoint. However, the SS officer in charge orders the four prisoners executed immediately, followed by the execution of the driver and the two guards that were on the truck.

We flash forward to present day (1975 when the movie came out) with Harry Morgan driving home in his fancy car, or to be more accurate, the company's fancy car. He and his wife are swimming in debt and they need their financial state to turn around or they will lose their house. Among the many bills in the mail that day is a letter from West Berlin from a man called Ernst Furben. Ernst Furben was the commander of the prisoner of war camp where Harry was a prisoner. He recently learned of millions of dollars of Nazi gold that was hidden during World War II and he learned from a Heinz Schmidt the name of the one person who knows where that gold is hidden: Reinhard Holtz. Reinhard Holtz was a high-ranking member of the Nazi party and is spending the rest of his life in a maximum security prison, so before they get the gold, they will have to get him out.

To that end, Harry contacts an old friend, Sly Wells (Robert Culp) who knows a bit about prisons, having spent more than a few years in them. After grabbing Sly from Amsterdamn, they travel to Berlin to meet Peter Dohlberg (Charles Korvin) who will finance the venture, for a share of the loot, of course. (And through him they meet Erika (Doris Kunstmann) a nurse, who is recruited into their cause. Finally, they have to have a man on the inside, Master Sergeant Prior, who thinks it is a crazy plan, but for a shot at share of millions in gold, he's willing to join up.

As for the actual details of the plan, and the inevitable hiccups in the execution of said plan, well, those are spoilers.

To call Inside Out a lesser known film is an understatement. It's not in the top 30 most well known films for the film's three main stars: Telly Savalas, Robert Culp, and James Mason. It definitely has a smaller feel to it than many heist films and they obviously didn't have the budget for major action scenes like car chases or big explosions. This meant the heist had to deal more with con games than with gun shots. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the pace of the film slower than it probably would have been had it had a big budget. It does have strong acting from the three leads, and a number of supporting characters. And I did like the overall plan, even if some of it was a tad unconvincing. For instance, by a coincidence, Harry Morgan meets a man who owns a theatrical costume house, perfect for uniforms. However, I have a hard time believing these uniforms would fool trained guards at a military prison. That said, I was willing to let that go because there weren't too many times suspension of disbelief was stretched.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD.

The Verdict

Inside Out is a good movie and worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of the genre and / or cast. The DVD is a little pricey for what you get, so a rental is probably enough for most people.

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