• The first thing to say about this film is that the screenplay is so terrible. It was written by Harold Pinter, but despite his talent for writing plays, he certainly had no cinematic sense whatever. This is one of the worst thriller screenplays in cinema history. There are long stretches of what may have seemed to Pinter like very lively and amusing dialogue (the torture scenes between October and George Segal), but they drag on interminably, and make one want to go to sleep. The casting of George Segal in the lead was a catastrophe, as he is so brash and annoying that one wants to scream. (What with wanting to go to sleep and wanting to scream at the same time, this film does pose certain conflict problems.) On the other hand, the female lead is played by the charming Senta Berger, then aged 25, who does very well, and manages to be enigmatic, and gets just the right tone for the story. But how could she put up with the love scenes with the atrocious Segal? Michael Anderson directs with his usual leaden touch. Max von Sydow as a senior post-War Nazi conspirator over-acts and is way out of control, Anderson being so hopeless and just a bystander who can have done no directing at all. George Sanders and others back in London play the stock roles of arch SIS mandarins who love putting people down, wearing black tie and being the snobs that they are. They say 'what a pity' with droll indifference as they eat their roast pheasant and take note of which operatives have been killed this week. The scene shot in the gallery of London's Reform Club is particularly odious. Alec Guinness is excellent as a spy chief, and he gives a faint whiff of verisimilitude to this hopeless film. The story is ludicrous. The film is ludicrous. Don't bother watching it, except to see the many scenes shot on location in West Berlin at that time, with its deserted streets and subdued mood. From that point of view, the film should be seen by social, architectural, and urban landscape historians.