This complex espionage picture is packed with thrills, suspense, tension and extraordinary performances . This movie was made and released about two years after its source French novel "The Thirteenth Who Committed Suicide" by Pierre Nord was first published in 1971 . Good spy movie , in fact the Spy agencies featured in this film include the CIA, KGB, Mi6 and the West German intelligence service . It's a slow moving spy-movie with emphasis on de-glamorizing espionage . Sensational acting by two big star names, Yul Brynner as spy who defects with a fistful of important documents and Henry Fonda as chief who must discover the truth . Strong secondary cast with Dirk Bogarde, Farley Granger, Philippe Noiret, gorgeous Virna Lisi and several others . Interesting and thrilling screenplay by the same producer and director Henry Verneuil . Atmospheric musical composed by Ennio Morricone and conducted by Bruno Nicolai . Superbyly realistic and adequate cinematography by Claude Renoir .
The picture was splendidly directed by Henry Verneuil, a Turkish director working in France from the 40s . Although not a director of great reputation among the critics, his movies have almost all been aimed squarely at the commercial market. Verneuil is an expert on heist-genre such as he proved in ¨The Sicilians clan(68)¨ with Jean Gabin and Alain Delon, ¨The burglars(1971)¨ with Omar Shariff and Jean Paul Belmondo , furthermore on Warlike genre : ¨Weekend at Dunkirk¨ and ¨The 25th hour¨, espionage as ¨ Night flight from Moscow¨ and even directed one Western : ¨Guns of San Sebastian¨ (68). He seemed to have dropped out of the film-making after 1976, but in 1981 unexpectedly reappeared with yet another of his caper film : ¨Thousand millions of dollars¨. Rating : Acceptable and passable, a must see for French cinema lovers and Fonda and Bryner fans