20 January 2013 | ma-cortes
A British agent is assigned by spymaster Mackintosh to impersonate a criminal and infiltrate a strange spy ring
Thrilling and exciting picture with an extraordinary duo , Paul Newman and Dominique Sanda , they form an awesome pair in this interesting flick . This is an entertaining movie full of all usual trimmings : car pursuits , fistfights , noisy action , getaway and capture . It deals with a member of British Intelligence named Reardon (Paul Newman) who undergoes a risked assignment ordered by Mackintosh (Harry Andrews) . As he is recruited , assuming a fictitious criminal identity and allows himself to be caught , imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization led by a mysterious leader (Michael Hordern) . Reardon have to expose a communist traitor and he also must catch him . The intrigue involves a Conservative Member of the British Parliament, Sir George Wheeler (James Mason) , who is best known for his frequent political diatribes on the British government . Meanwhile , Reardon goes in action , being helped by a beautiful agent (Dominique Sanda in her first Hollywood movie for French actress) .
A cold war spy thriller with all the edge-of-seat ingredients : suspense , thrills , a complex intrigue , twists and turns . Intriguing and thrilling script , being one of the first produced screenplays of Walter Hill who later became an action thriller director . Paul Newman is first rate as a secret agent assigned a dangerous mission accompanied by a beauty Dominique Sanda . Wily and excellent , as always , James Mason as a cunning Parliament member with dark aims . This is the first of two movies that actors Paul Newman and James Mason made together , the other was Verdict . It's also the second of two movies that director John Huston and actor Paul Newman made together , he first was The judge Roy Bean , made the previous year . Supporting cast is frankly magnificent , such as Ian Bannen , Nigel Patrick , Michael Hordern , Percy Herbert , the last film of Noel Purcell and Niall MacGinnis and special mention to Harry Andrews as Mackintosh . This film and its source novel were loosely based on the identification, defection and escape from Wormwood Scrubs Prison in 1966 of Russian spy George Blake who was working in British intelligence as a double agent but was not one of the Cambridge Five spies . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Oswald Morris filmed on location in London , Ireland and Malta . Enjoyable musical score by the great Maurice Jarre , including a catching leitmotif .
The motion picture was well produced by John Foreman who financed various Huston films such as The Man Who Would Be King ; being stunningly directed by the great John Huston at his best . Director John Huston made this spy movie not longer after he had helmed another espionage film , Kremlin's letter . The picture was made in a good time of the 70s and 80s when Huston resurged as a director of quality films with Fat City, (1972 ), the afore-mentioned The man who would be king (1975) and Wise blood (1979). He ended his career on a high note with Under volcano (1984), Honor of Prizzi (1985) and Dublineses (1987). Rating : 7 above average , worthwhile watching , though P.G. , parents guide , for its violence and beatings . This is one of John Huston's main films , a model of his kind , the spy genre , definitely a must see if you are aficionado to thriller film . Huston broke a new ground with this landmark movie , providing exciting scenes and unforgettable dialogs .