In 1984, Tom Selleck had already bombed once in theatres with his big screen debut “High Road To China” the year before. His sophomore effort was much better suited to him and still stands as one of his best films, LASSITER.
Selleck stars as suave jewel thief Nick Lassiter, prowling around the estates of London by night to capture only the best of the best. His girlfriend Sara dances by day and longs to escape to a more legal life. She’s played by the beautiful Jane Seymour with effortless style. It’s as good as she’s ever been on film.
When Scotland Yard finds out that a shipment of Nazi jewels are going to be in their embassy for two nights before they are shipped out to finance German efforts in the soon to break out WW2, the ruthless Inspector Becker drafts Lassiter to steal them or face 20 years in jail on trumped up charges.
Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Mona Lisa) is loud, tough & believable as the very nasty Inspector. Joe Regulbuto (Murphy Brown) is also good as an FBI agent more sympathetic to Lassiter’s position.
Lauren Hutton (American Gigolo) is also a twisted threat as Countess Kari Von Fursten, who’s lusts include brutally killing men after a roll in the hay and personally guarding those Nazi jewels worth $10 million within the German embassy.
Through it all, Selleck makes suave and cool look very easy. He’s so young here and towers over the rest of the cast like some Cary Grant giant with a smooth retort to every quip and plenty of physicality in the numerous action scenes.
If the movie ever slowed down for a moment, you could probably fall into the plot holes or illogical action, but Director Roger Young (Under Siege, HBO’s “Rome”) keeps everything coming at the screen bathed in London fog, explosive violence, great location shooting, plenty of frank 80’s nudity (who knew, Jane!?) and pre-war cat burglar fun.
Lassiter is plenty of fun and hints at the star that Selleck could have been on the big screen before he settled into decades of TV stardom. Lassiter steals a B-.