KALEIDOSCOPE. Warner Brothers, 1966. Warren Beatty, Susannah York, Clive Revill, Eric Porter, Murray Melvin. Director: Jack Smight. A novel based on the movie was written by Michael Avallone (Popular Library 60-2132, pb, 1966).

   Mark me down for one of those guys who distinctly and diligently dislike movies revolving around sporting events of any kind, whether it’s baseball, football, boxing, horse races or even card playing. With everything in the hands of the screenwriter and director, for me there’s not even a dollop of suspense. What happens next is completely in the hands of those two guys. Even if you don’t know know what happens next, it’s not the same as not knowing which two faces of the dice are going to come up.

   Movies simply can’t compete with real life sporting events. If someone were to make a film in which one of two diehard rivals wins a football game with no seconds remaining on the clock by running back 109 yards on a missed field goal attempt, you’d never believe it.

   So Kaleidoscope, based on Warren Beatty’s attempt (under duress) to bring down a notorious crime lord with a Napoleonic complex (Eric Porter) by wiping him out at a game of cards, was a big bad dud of a movie for me, even with some color photography that’s out of the world (taking place mostly in European casinos, but not entirely).

   There’s a long lead-in to this movie that consists of Beatty breaking into a card manufacturing plant and doctoring the backs of the plates used in the process to his own advantage, and along the way attracting the eye of a young and very beautiful Susannah York, who also just happens to be the daughter of a British police inspector.

   Your opinions may vary on card-playing movies like this one, and I grant you that, but as a slow as molasses movie of the “swinging sixties,” that’s another matter altogether. More of Susannah York in this regard may have helped.