Double-agent Alexander Eberlin is assigned by the British to hunt out a Russian spy, known to them as Krasnevin. Only Eberlin knows that Krasnevin is none other than himself! Accompanying ...
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Double-agent Alexander Eberlin is assigned by the British to hunt out a Russian spy, known to them as Krasnevin. Only Eberlin knows that Krasnevin is none other than himself! Accompanying him on his mission is a ruthless partner, who gradually discovers his secret as Eberlin tries to maneuver himself out of a desperate situation. Written by
Leslie Gilliat always said that he preferred shooting on the studio lot ("You don't have to hire generators and so on") to location work. This sentiment was confirmed by this film which Gilliat later described as "a bit of a mess", after director Mann died during filming in Berlin. See more »
I mean, if you want to turn this into a gun war, it's all right with us - but our reserves are closer.
Who do you think you are, Al Capone?
Who's Al Capone?
He was a megalomaniac gangster who murdered anyone who got in his way.
Really? Whatever happened to him?
He changed his name to Stalin and moved to Russia.
I thought he sounded familiar.
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The decorative details sparkle like mad...too bad the plot is a dated dud
Laurence Harvey plays a Russian-born spy based in London who is now working for both countries as a double-agent; he's assigned by the British to kill his alter-ego, and hopes to find a target to assume his alias. Opening with a wonderful credits sequence, "A Dandy in Aspic" looks initially to be an enjoyably old-fashioned Cold War excursion with such familiar elements as CIA operatives and the KGB. Unfortunately, though screenwriter Derek Marlowe adapted his own novel, the key ingredients of such a spy-drama appear to have gone missing; the film is all talky exposition and little pay-off. Mia Farrow continually pops up unannounced as Harvey's love-interest, probably in the faint hope we'll assume she's sneakily involved somehow. There are so many camera set-ups, verboten conversations, and obtuse face-offs that the overall effect is both exhausting and stultifying. Harvey took over the direction of the film after original director-producer Anthony Mann passed away unexpectedly. This must account for the funereal pacing and the cloudy character interaction, though the plot itself wasn't exactly timely--not even for 1968. Farrow (just prior to "Rosemary's Baby") adds quite a bit of gamine magic to the proceedings as an amateur photographer who appears to be following Harvey wherever he goes; it isn't much of a role, but Mia's beauty and youthful charm go a long way towards making the picture tolerable. Other assets: Quincy Jones' low-keyed score and the fine cinematography by Christopher Challis and Austin Dempster. ** from ****
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