The setting of the film “Lassiter” is June 1939, London, England. The lead character, portrayed by Golden Globe and Emmy winner Tom Selleck (Blue Bloods), is up to his normal nocturnal activity. He’s excellent at what he does, but his occupation is not a main stream profession. Lassiter is a jewel thief. A short time after his latest job, he arrives at a dinner and dancing establishment, where he meets up with his girlfriend, Sara Wells. The part is acted by two time Golden Globe winner Jayne Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman). The two spend a relaxing evening together.
The next morning, after leaving Sara’s place, Lassiter is picked up by the police. After being, taken to the police station, he is positively identified by two witnesses as the perpetrator of a crime he didn’t commit. Lassiter is confronted by two men: First by F.B.I. agent Breeze played by Emmy nominee Joe Regalbuto (Murphy Brown). He takes a tactful approach with Lassiter. The other man, Inspector Becker from Scotland Yard takes the opposite approach. The character is portrayed by BAFTA winner Bob Hoskins (Mona Lisa). He lets Lassiter know, that his options are limited.
The information and proposal put to Lassiter is as follows: The Nazi’s have ten million dollars worth of uncut, untraceable diamonds. The diamonds will be delivered and kept at the German embassy for approximately two days. Lassiter is to steal the diamonds. If he doesn’t, Inspector Becker guarantees him that he will be framed, convicted, and sent to prison for a sentence of twenty years to life.
Lassiter knows he has no choice other than to cooperate. He begins to worm his way into the life of Kati Van Fursten played by Lauren Hutton (The Gambler). Officially she’s a financier. Her father, it is stated, was one of Hitter’s earliest financial backers. While she’s interested in Lassiter, she’s followed everywhere by her assistant and bodyguard Max (Warren Clarke), which will complicate matters.
Can Lassiter successfully pull off the job? If he refuses and goes on the run will he be able to escape? Would he take Sara with him if he decides to flee? All of those questions and more will be answered by the film’s conclusion.
“Lassiter” was directed, in his film debut, by Emmy winner Roger Young (Lou Grant). The screenplay was written by Emmy nominee David Taylor (The Spy in the Hanoi Hilton). Parts action, crime, drama, mystery, and thriller, it has a runtime of 100 minutes. The film premiered on February 17, 1984. The promotional advertisements for the movie capitalized on the popularity of the CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) television show Magnum P.I, which starred Selleck. The series lasted eight seasons, and was comprised of 158 episodes. The first episode aired on December 11, 1980 and its final episode was on May 1, 1988. (As an aside: Three time Oscar nominee Ronald Neame (Great Expectations) was originally set to direct the film).
“Lassiter” held my interest from start to finish. The cast did a very competent job in their respective roles, and Selleck was perfectly cast as the lead. The film is currently streaming on HBO Max. Overall, an entertaining film, thanks to a well paced story, and a likable antagonist.