A Royal navy Commander is tricked by a pretty girl who is working for the Nazis. She tricks him into revealing some military secrets and he is court-martialed. He vows to track her and her ... See full summary »
Private detective Edward Mercer goes to Venice at the request of a French insurance company to locate a brave Italian whom they wish to reward for his part in the rescue of an Allied airman... See full summary »
Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
A charming and ambitious young man finds many ways to raise himself through the ranks in business and social standing- some honest, some not quite so. If he can just manage to avoid a ... See full summary »
Three good men - a broken boxer, an American veteran trying to win back his mother-dominated wife, and an air force sergeant married to a faithless actress - are corrupted by Miles ... See full summary »
British archaeologist David Redfern comes to Tunisia to catalog a collection of art relics and stumbles into evidence of a gun-smuggling racket. Hesitant at first to get involved or even to report the information, he becomes convinced he must do the right thing after a young man is murdered. By then, though, the smugglers know Redfern knows too much and they target him for death. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A flock of seagulls are squawking around a body floating on the water's surface. A moment later another character has to dive to find the body weighted down well below the surface and not in any position to attract the birds. See more »
With her little-girl voice and arched eyebrows, a 17-year old Anouk (Aimee) is a real attention-getter. Having her fall for the much older and plainer Trevor Howard, however, is something of a stretch. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating movie to look at even if the basic plot is unexceptional. Archaeologist Howard travels to north Africa to retrieve shipwrecked treasures that include a golden salamander. There he stumbles across a network of gun- smugglers and hooks up with the exotic Anna (Anouk) in a seedy, atmospheric café. Just who is and who isn't a part of the network generates some suspense.
But the movie's strength is in the acting and the photography. Howard is superb, as usual, while Anouk manages to be both emotionally vulnerable and surprisingly accomplished in her first big part. Special mention should go to Walter Rilla for his super slick version of a gangster kingpin. He looks and acts the sinister role to a proverbial T.
However, what I liked best is what the pro's call "mise-en-scene", ie. the placing of a scene. Someone in production had the great idea of filming on location, along the north African coast line. This results in a number of visually stunning compositions made all the more so by the subtle tonalities that only black& white photography can produce. Catch the romantic scene on the beach with the setting sun in deep-focus background. Color is simply too literal to capture this kind of poetic effect.
The dialogue is spiced up nicely with several exotic pearls of wisdom, but what about that escape scene by the cliff which seems pretty implausible-- how did Hyde-Whyte know a sheep flock would pass at exactly the right time. Or the climax, which seems a little too tame for my liking. Nonetheless, it's one of those movies that's stayed with me over the years for reasons I can't quite pin down. I guess it's something about the authentic crowds along the Arab bazaar or the sheer poetry of that coast line stretching into the distance and beyond. Yes indeed, there's a lot to be said for the old black & white.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?