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Rod Taylor plays a policeman sent to return a sensitive case; An Australian citizen, currently acting as high commissioner for peace talks who is wanted for an old charge -- of murder. The talks are too sensitive to be disturbed, so Taylor ends up watching Christopher Plummer as he conducts his talks, and discovers that some want the talks to fail enough to think that killing Plummer is an obvious way to stop them. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
What a disappointment! I've enjoyed the Jon Cleary books about Scobie Malone, but there's little resemblance between him and the cinematic Malone. In the books he's a city detective, who is devoted to his wife and doesn't get involved in fisticuffs. For the film the character has been spiced up, into an outback copper who uses his fists and isn't averse to jumping into bed with a gorgeous girl, though quite what she and the film's other sex interest see in him I don't know; Taylor was 39 at the time and his face was getting puffy.
But his character's stamina is remarkable; he flies in from Australia, apparently goes straight to the Commissioner's house (rather unwisely seeking to arrest him during a black-tie reception), saves him from assassination (getting into a fight in the process), goes to a casino with one girl, leaves with another and takes her to bed. So much for jet lag! On the way back to the Commissioner's house (showing a good knowledge of London back streets), he gets beaten up by the baddies, but is still first down to breakfast! It's also remarkable that the commissioner's limo has its windscreen and headlights miraculously repaired within minutes of the assassination attempt and that one character has a touching faith in the precise timekeeping of a clock-activated bomb.
The best thing is Joseph the Butler's disdain for the uncouth Malone. And at least the film avoids being a London travelogue, though some scenes take place during the Wimbledon tennis week.
5 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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