9 January 2014 | MartinHafer
It could have been a lot better without all the soap.
If you are looking for an excellent war mini-series, you might want to think twice before you watch "The Rhinemann Exhange". While shows from the era such as "The Winds of War" are classics and must-see films, "The Rhinemann Exchange" is too much like a sexy soap opera to be taken very seriously.
When the film begins, Stephen Collins plays David Spaulding--rich international playboy and polo player whose only other interest is banging his dad's lady (is she his second wife or girlfriend or fiancée--I couldn't tell). However, after the Germans invade Poland (killing the Dad and his lady in the process), suddenly Spaulding is a dedicated patriot and member of Army Intelligence. Much of this first episode is centered on this as well as his assignment in Spain that lasts until 1943--where, once again, Spaulding is doing his job AND making it with one of the local women.
In a weird plot that could only come on TV or in films, the Germans AND Americans both have problems that the other side could solve. The Germans need industrial diamonds for their rocket program (which the Americans have) and the Americans need a better gyroscope for their bombers (which the Germans have). So, some evil industrialists and schemers come up with an insane option--to trade the two things and, thus, prolong the war. It's clearly a paranoid plot about the military industrial complex and although very far-fetched, it is interesting.
The rest of the film consists of two huge plots--Spaulding getting it on with yet another lady (Lauren Hutton) and his unknowing involvement with this international conspiracy. During much of the film, Spaulding is being chased by all sorts of folks trying to kill him--and he's not 100% sure who these people are but he suspects they are Gestapo.
So why does the film earn a modest score of 6? Well, although the plot is original and interesting, too much of the film is spent with Spaulding and his incredibly strong libido. While Collins clearly is a handsome guy and I am pretty sure he had tons of women chasing him over the years, this cannot be the basis for a WWII action film! My feeling is that the mini-series would have been best as a soap opera OR WWII film--not both.