Leschenhaut and Morillon are trying to organize a plot to overthrow the French government and set up a new fascist organization. Their plans are interrupted by Davis, an American boxer, ... See full summary »
Leschenhaut and Morillon are trying to organize a plot to overthrow the French government and set up a new fascist organization. Their plans are interrupted by Davis, an American boxer, tutor of young Paul de Villemont; in Villemont Manor he discovers the plot and, after the kidnapping of the boy, he travels to Rome, where the organization would exchange Paul with a list of members stolen by Davis to give to the press. Written by
The "Tixier" graffito that Reno Davis (Peppard) passes twice on the riverbank refers to Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour who contested the 1965 French presidential election for the far-right - which would have made him a popular choice for some of the movie's protagonists. See more »
Inspired by the events linked to the Algeria war.The fascist organization recalls Ordre Nouveau (which was not fiction) and the O.A.S. whose purpose was to give Algeria back to the FRench ,particularly to the Pieds-Noirs who had to leave the country after the Evian agreement (June 1962).
John Guillermin 's thriller remains very vague politically.Some characters appear or disappear without any real purpose .Some appear completely nude (Perrette Pradier) probably to please the viewer.The screenplay looks like a parboiled cross between "the jackal" (Zinnemann,1972)and "the man who knew too much" (essentially the color version 1956).
That said ,if you are not too demanding ,it's passable entertainment.George Peppard is a convincing hero with a Bondesque sense of humor (sixties Bond of course)and Inger Stevens who prematurely died two years after is attractive.Orson Wells has a very very small part and as the film is unworthy of his talent,he seems eager to collect his money and run away from this muddled story.
There's a song in French during the cast and credits which is heard again at the end.This bland song has nothing to do with the story ,not Francis Lai's best.
Guillermin's most salutary quality is his sense of space he would display again in "towering inferno" and in "death on the Nile".Here he uses the banks of the Seine to good effect .Ditto for the banks of the lake and the fountain in Rome ,or the arena.
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