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Millionaire Victor Danemore, living on the French Riviera, dies suddenly of a heart attack. His secretary, Dave Bishop, wants to know more about his employer's life. Surprisingly, not even his young wife knows anything about her husband's background or how he earned his fortune. Clues lead Bishop to Vienna and Stockholm, where he learns that Danemore was black-mailing people who cooperated with the Nazis during WW2. Written by
A heavily accented foreign travelogue devoid of intrigue
Foreign Intrigue is as bland and generic as its title. Its scantily credentialed director/writer/producer, Sheldon Reynolds, did an early-1950s TV series with the same name, so this movie looks like a bid for big-screen immortality. Alas, it's one of those polyglot productions that suggests financing flowed from several European countries, with strings attached to several cast members; there's no other way to account for their presence.
A wealthy man of mystery drops dead in his villa on the Riviera. His American press agent (Robert Mitchum) finds him but suspicions grow when he's asked four times in succession if his employer `said anything' before he died. So Mitchum sets out to discover who the man was and how he accumulated his fortune. He starts with the merry widow (Genevieve Page) and travels on to Vienna and Stockholm, where he falls for the daughter (Ingrid Thulin) of a deceased industrialist whom may have been a blackmail target. Mitchum finds that he, too, is being followed....
Foreign Intrigue brings to mind Orson Welles' Mr. Arkadin of the previous year, memories of which emphatically ought not to be freshened. There's little true suspense, though the score, by Paul Durand and Charlie Norman, insists that yes, there is. Reynolds tosses in a little Alfred Hitchock here, a little Carol Reed there, but to little avail. About three-quarters of the way through, the picture reaches a lugubrious crescendo by revealing a vast global conspiracy harking back to the Third Reich. The only sensible reaction to all this is Mitchum's, who knew a good paycheck when he saw one and saunters through the movie with his eyes half-shut, as only he could do. Even so, he remains the only reason to sit through this foreign travelogue devoid of intrigue.
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