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The Quiller Memorandum

Poor Adaptation
Having just read the novel, it's impossible to watch this without its influence and I found the screen version incredibly disappointing. I'm generally pretty forgiving of film adaptations of novels, but the changes that were made just do not make sense. George Segal's Quiller isn't intense, smart, calculating--qualities Quiller is known for--instead he comes across as a doofus by comparison, better suited to sports-writing or boxing, completely lacking in cunning. The original, primary mission has been completely omitted. Inga is unrecognizable and has been changed to the point of uselessness. Visually, the film was rather stunning, but the magical soft focus that appears every time Inga is in the frame is silly. It's not my intention to be obnoxious and list every point in the movie that strays from the book, but it's truly a shame that such well-crafted material--intriguing back stories, superior spy tactics--is wasted here. Really sad. A much better example of a spy novel-to-film adaptation would be Our Man in Havana, also starring Alec Guinness.

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