11 Harrowhouse

11 Harrowhouse is a 1974 British DeLuxe Color film directed by Aram Avakian and starring Charles Grodin, Candice Bergen, James Mason, Trevor Howard and John Gielgud in Panavision. It was adapted by Charles Grodin based upon the novel by Gerald A. Browne with the screenplay by Jeffrey Bloom.

11 Harrowhouse
Film poster
Directed byAram Avakian
Produced byElliott Kastner
Denis Holt (associate producer)
Written byCharles Grodin (adaptation)
Screenplay byJeffrey Bloom
Based on11 Harrowhouse
1972 novel
by Gerald A. Browne
StarringCandice Bergen
James Mason
Charles Grodin
John Gielgud
Trevor Howard
Narrated byCharles Grodin
Music byMichael J. Lewis
CinematographyArthur Ibbetson
Edited byAnne V. Coates
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • 1974 (1974)
Running time
94 min
CountryUnited Kingdom

Plot synopsis

In England, a small-time diamond merchant (Charles Grodin) is unexpectedly offered the chance to supervise the purchase and cutting of an extremely large diamond to be named after its wealthy owner (Trevor Howard). When the diamond is stolen from him, he is blackmailed into pulling off a major heist at "The System," located at 11 Harrowhouse Street, City of London with the help of his beautiful and wealthy girlfriend (Candice Bergen). The key figure in the theft, however, is the inside man, Watts (James Mason) who works in the vault at The System. Watts is dying of cancer and wants to leave his family financially secure.

Although "The System" has an elaborate network of defences and alarms against intruders, the robbery is carried out at night by gaining access to the roof from an adjacent property and threading a hosepipe down a conduit into the vault, where Watts uses it to vacuum up thousands of rough diamonds out of their drawers. The thieves leave before the robbery is discovered, and when found in the vault in the morning, Watts claims to have eaten the gems. Before he can confess, Watts deliberately swallows poison and dies at 11 Harrowhouse Street. Most of the loot is buried in concrete, to prevent it flooding the market.



Variety gave the film a negative review, stating that "Grodin messes up the film with ineffective shy-guy acting, and clobbers it with catatonic voice-over that is supposed to be funny" and adding that "Howard and Mason appear close to embarrassed in their roles."[1]


The film has been screened in two versions in the past - both with and without a retrospective commentary from Grodin's character, H.R. Chesser. The version without commentary plays under two alternate titles, either Anything for Love or Fast Fortune. Neither version was broadcast often on television; the version without the commentary was the most widely available for purchase for a time. The film was released on LaserDisc by Fox Video in Widescreen Format and with the commentary intact.

DVD release

On 2 February 2011, Shout! Factory is to release the film for the first time on DVD, but only on Region 1 (USA) Disc.[2]


  1. Staff, Variety; Staff, Variety (1 January 1974). "11 Harrowhouse".
  2. Mason, Ryan (3 December 2010). "SHOUT FACTORY UNLEASHES A LOAD OF DVDS". CHUD.com. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.

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