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Policemen Novak & Thompson go undercover to infiltrate a gang of counterfeiters. Standard cross and double-cross crime story with plenty of London location work. Written by
Allen Dace <email@example.com>
U.S. secret service agent YUL BRYNNER is enlisted by Scotland Yard to infiltrate a forgery ring distributing phony U.S. currency in London. He joins a Scotland Yard man EDWARD WOODWARD in this story that appears to be a remake of T-MEN, a thriller from the '40s that starred Dennis O'Keefe in the Brynner role. This version starts in the same terse documentary style as the American film.
It's Brynner who decides the best way to capture the mob is to infiltrate them, with Woodward as his back-up, a man with a wife and two children. Brynner is motivated by revenge. His sweetheart was killed in America by men who meant to kill him. Brynner has his misgivings about Woodward. "A married man should be sitting behind a desk shoving papers." He's afraid Woodward won't be a good back-up for him since he refuses to carry a gun.
The London backgrounds add flavor to the story, but the script is a cumbersome one, lacking the tension of T-MEN. Dull stretches toward the middle of the story take away from interest for the overall story to have the desired effect. Sam Wanamaker's direction is much too sluggish for this kind of yarn. CHARLES GRAY does a nice job as "The Owl".
The storyline is so similar in detail to T-MEN that it's an example of how a 1940s film noir filmed in shadowy B&W can be so superior to this Technicolor remake shifted to London locales but otherwise much the same story, except for some minor changes toward the conclusion.
Summing up: Should have generated more suspense. A better editing job would have helped the sluggish pace of a film that is not without a certain amount of intrigue and danger.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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