Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
In 1840 Scotland, a young lass named Babbie revels in the country life and frolics with the locals, simple weavers whose livelihood is threatened by increasing industrialization. When Lord ... See full summary »
After 1919, Russian Boris Mitrov immigrates to the USA where he becomes an American citizen.Over the decades he builds a career in the film industry. In 1959, Mitrov is a movie producer with many rich influential friends. He continues to cultivate other Russian émigrés like himself and even some members of the Soviet Embassy in Washington.One of his Soviet friends is Embassy official Vladimir "Vadja" Kubelov.In reality, Kubelov is a KGB colonel who finds Mitrov useful to the Soviet cause by providing certain services.For instance, Mitrov provides reference letters of employment for various Soviet sleeper agents in the USA. Mitrov throws parties for Soviet diplomats, spies and American Communists such as millionaire bankers Adrian and Helen Benson. All these activities catch the attention of American intelligence agency CBI which places Mitrov and his entourage under close surveillance. When the CBI confronts Mitrov about his activities, he admits it but claims naiveté.Eager to loyally... Written by
Ernest Borgnine is the "Man on a String" spy who is persuaded to work for the Central Bureau of Intelligence (which is supposed to be the CIA, of course). He is a movie producer, and is relocated to Berlin, to be close to the Communist enemies. The actors read their lines like they're bored to death. Mr. Borgnine sets the tone - his dialog is mostly, monotone, soft-spoken, and emotionless. Maybe this is how you are supposed to play a Russian spy? A narration relentlessly punctuates the drama with a mostly, monotone, soft-spoken, and emotionless off-screen explanation of the unfolding on-screen events.
It also makes sure we viewers know Communists are very bad people.
Kerwin Mathews plays the friend and partner spy. He has more expression, and tries to liven Borgnine and the others up; but they doggedly resist. Mr. Mathews' performance is not bad, and I wondered, in his scenes with Borgnine, if Mathews was wondering: what happened to the great actor from "Marty" and "From Here to Eternity"?
*** Man on a String (1960) Andre De Toth ~ Ernest Borgnine, Kerwin Mathews, Colleen Dewhurst
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