The Assassination Bureau has existed for decades (perhaps centuries) until Diana Rigg begins to investigate it. The high moral standing of the Bureau (only killing those who deserve it) is ... See full summary »
The Assassination Bureau has existed for decades (perhaps centuries) until Diana Rigg begins to investigate it. The high moral standing of the Bureau (only killing those who deserve it) is called into question by her. She puts out a contract for the Bureau to assassinate its leader on the eve of World War I. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE ASSASSINATION BUREAU (Basil Dearden, 1969) ***
Typical 1960s big-budget all-star entertainment with an unlikely but intriguing backdrop (the political turmoil in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century) and agreeably treated as black comedy. As can be surmised, the titular organization headed by Oliver Reed and numbering among its members Telly Savalas, Curt Jurgens, Philippe Noiret, Clive Revill and Kenneth Griffith disposes of people it deems criminal but which the law apparently can't reach until some of them start to get too big for their boots, while Reed accepts lady journalist Diana Rigg's offer of a contract on himself!
Stylish and colorful (shot on a variety of stunning European locations and with great care given to sets, costumes and props), the film is vastly entertaining along the way gleefully poking fun at politics and murder at every turn. Reed and Rigg make a very appealing couple, while Savalas, Jurgens et al have fun sending up their respective images; of course, Rigg and Savalas would be re-teamed that same year for the James Bond outing ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE.
The script, therefore, delivers plenty of suspense and surprise (including numerous disguises and near-escapes for the hero) and is capped by a spectacular climax in which a bomb attack via zeppelin targeting a castle where all the rulers of Europe have convened for a peace conference is thwarted.
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