After an American diplomat inexplicably explodes a bomb during an international peace conference in Venice, killing himself and everyone in the room, CIA boss Frank Rosenfeld calls ex-agent Bill Fenner in on the case. Fenner is forced to find his ex-wife and save her from the clutches of both the good guys and the bad guys, while still obtaining the Vaugiroud report and uncovering the bombing conspiracy. Written by
Actor Robert Vaughn was cast in the lead role in this picture by MGM in order to capitalize on his popular Napoleon Solo spy TV character from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964). This movie is actor Robert Vaughn's only other 60s spy film outside of playing 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E's Napoleon Solo in movies and TV series. See more »
"The Venetian Affair", based on Helen MacInnes bestseller, is one of the seemingly endless number of James Bond-inspired spy films that flooded cinemas in the mid to late 1960's. Despite a pedestrian script and direction, the film benefits from some great on-location scenery in Venice as well as a talented and eclectic cast. Robert Vaughn plays against type as an alcoholic reporter who is swept into an espionage case with international repercussions. Vaughn delivers the goods with a convincing, world-weary performance that was at odds with his weekly heroics as The Man From UNCLE (despite popular belief, this is not an UNCLE-related film). Karl Boehm is fine as the obligatory charming villain, Roger C. Carmel provides some light moments in the otherwise downbeat script, Boris Karloff has one of his last quality roles, and Thunderball Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi, queen of the '60's spy films, makes a brief but welcome appearance. Only Elke Sommer gums up the works with a typically wooden performance that is little more animated than the stone gargoyles that adorn the ancient Venetian buildings. In summary, an unremarkable, but entertaining film. Rarely seen in recent years, TCM has recently begun telecasting it in a glorious widescreen version. One hopes that a video release will eventually take place.
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