At the height of the Cold War, British Intellegence discovers evidence that suggests Soviet missiles are being positioned close to the German border. With no active agents available to investigate, Fred Leiser must be called back to the colors and sent East. Once behind the Iron Curtain, Leiser meets a sympathetic German girl who tries to help him to evade the East German secret police and to complete his assignment. Written by
Back in 1971 or so, this film showed on t.v. on the old Friday Night at the Movies series, and as a nine- or ten-year-old closeted gay boy I distinctly remember dropping my youthful jaw for the shirtless Christopher Jones in those scenes in the handball court. But seeing the film as a 48-year-old is an entirely different experience. Young Mr. Jones had a nice chest, but he was never a great actor, and the sub-text of Anthony Hopkins's character's resentments is inspired by that tiresome youth-worship that every film of that period was poisoned with: adults are misguided and evil and young people are innocent and good. I didn't buy it then and I certainly don't buy it now. Nevertheless, I think anything Hopkins is featured in is probably worth seeing once, and Ralph Richardson is always enjoyable to watch as well. The less celebrated Paul Rogers is pretty splendid, too. Well cast, but a somewhat worn period piece, is what I think.
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