Cinema: The Bank Bit

Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round just fills the space between a frisky title and a tricky TV-comedy ending, but doesn't fill it with any revels that require a viewer's complete attention. The movie's hero is a lickerish, hipsterish con artist named Kotch, played by James Coburn in a flaccid reprise of his role as Our Man Flint. In prison, Kotch cranks up a steal-a-million scheme, a testament to the faith of moviemakers that a tale so often told must be good for something—even if it is no longer good for laughs. After a cool blonde psychologist bounces him from a group...

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