Alfred Hitchcock directs Frederick Stafford, Dany Robin and Karin Dor in this spy thriller where a French diplomat tries to avert the Cuban Missile Crisis and uncover a Soviet Spy Ring embedded in his government.
Dry and unfocused. This feels like pretty weak tea, stewed yet watery, especially in the age of James Bond and Harry Palmer. Hitch struggles to make us care about characters without A-List stars at his disposal, though Dany Robin as the capable wife makes a good impression… then she is sidelined for the middle hour… whoops! It trots the globe but rarely feels exotic. A near silent, stretched out defection prologue sets things up nicely. There’s a good set piece in a New York hotel occupied by the Cuban delegation (one of many where the hero has minimal involvement?!) and a glorious shot where a glamorous lady is executed. Considering this is over two hours plus long though that is really picking the bones of the carcass to find any meat worth tasting. A rare misfire.
Perfect Double Bill: Torn Curtain (1966)
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