18 August 2016 | Leofwine_draca
Goes through the motions and adds a fine cast
UNDERCOVER AGENT is a very typical British crime film but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad one. Sure, it moves at a sedate pace and it features not a single surprise anywhere in its running time, but at the same time it keeps the amiable viewer watching quite happily thanks to plenty of incident and perilous situations. The film stars the hard-working Dermot Walsh who somewhat unusually plays a mild-mannered accountant this time around (he's usually a brooding, dashing anti-hero thanks to that Mallen streak in his hair). The film's MacGuffin sees him come into possession of an envelope containing secret plans that both the British government and a gang of international spies will do anything to get their hands on. It's all very Hitchcockian albeit done on a very low budget.
What follows is watchable enough as it goes through the trappings of the genre: there are assassinations, hidden character motivations, and even a couple of mild torture sequences including a climactic hospital set-piece which may have inspired GOLDFINGER. Walsh is very good actually, and there are some choice faces in the supporting cast: Hazel Court's lovely love interest, Hugh Latimer's dogged cop, Alexander Gauge's stock slimy villain. Hermione Baddeley makes for an effective femme fatale but one of the most interesting of all is a pre-stardom Bill Travers, years before BORN FREE and cast as a ruthless thug!