23 September 2009 | ma-cortes
European co-production financed by United Nations and with all-star-cast
The film begins in Iran where an agent (Stephen Boyd) deals with an opium smuggler (Hugh Griffith) . Later on , two United Nations agents (Trevor Howard, E.G. Marshall) arrive in Teheran airport and reunite with Iranian authorities (Yul Brynner , Omar Shariff , Jack Hawkins). They scheme to chase the smugglers by means of opium full of radioactive element and a 'Geiger counter set' to place it . The colonel (Brynner) along with a riding posse heads desert to crack the opium bandits , as they climb a mountain and attack . After that , the tracks lead to Napoli where encounter the radioactive opium and a suspect named Locarno (Eli Wallach) . Other clues lead to Stromboli club (there fights a wrestler woman , Senta Berger) , a ship commanded by a drunk captain (Anthony Quayle) , Niza , Montecarlo Hall (where sings La Bamba the actor-singer Trini Lopez) and a magnate named Serge Marco (Gilbert Roland) . At the end happens some spectacular struggles into a train ('From Russian with love'-alike).
Trevor Howard and his partner Edgar G Marshall are a couple of hard-noised narcotic detectives who stumble onto what turns out to be one of the biggest opium rings of all time , involving mastermind well played by Gilbert Roland . Trevor Howard's portrayal is good and the teamwork with E.G. Marshall is special . Based on a story outline by Ian Fleming who died before he could complete the script . Production with quite budget by United Nations to get funds for world fight against drug , however did not obtained success at the box office ; furthermore uninterested collaboration of actors and technicians . Colorful cinematography by Henry Alekan , Terence Young's usual, and atmospheric musical score by George Auric . All characters , places and events in this film are fictitious : any similarity to any persons, places or events is purely coincidental and based on an Ian Fleming story , shot on location in Iran , Napoli , Niza, Monaco.
This dope-trade thriller is professionally directed by Terence Young and being dedicated to the memory of Adlai Stevenson, the American politician who was US Ambassador to the United Nations. Terence realized three of the first four James Bond films , as ¨Dr No¨, ¨From Russia with love¨ and ¨Thunderball¨, such successful blockbusters were hard to continue , though he attempted in search of more box office hits . His biggest film was , beyond doubt , ¨Wait in dark¨ with Audrey Hepburn and Richard Crenna . However , his last period was largely unsuccessful , full of failures and duds as ¨Amazons¨ , ¨Klansman¨ , ¨Blood line¨, ¨ Inchon¨, ¨Jigsaw man¨, ¨Takeover¨ , though some action scenes remained undiluted.