6.4/10
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Christina (1974)

PG | | Mystery | May 1974 (USA)
An unemployed engineer accepts a $25,000 bribe to marry a beautiful and mysterious woman so that she can stay in the United States. During their honeymoon, he starts to fall in love with her, but she suddenly disappears. When he tries to find her, it puts his life in danger.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christina / Kay
...
Simon Bruce
...
Donovan
...
Girl
Barbara Gordon ...
Mrs. Brice
Audry Kniveton ...
Mme. Concordia
Wally McSween ...
Timothy Murphy (as Wally MacSween)
Mary Monks ...
Miss Cooper
Otto Lowy ...
Otto Wensal
Christine Hauff ...
Edith Wensal
Sharon Mason ...
Eleanor (as Sharon Kirk)
Scott Maitland ...
Archie
Jace Van Der Veen ...
Baldy
Allan Anderson ...
Employment clerk
Leo Servo ...
Tony
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Storyline

An unemployed engineer accepts a $25,000 bribe to marry a beautiful and mysterious woman so that she can stay in the United States. During their honeymoon, he starts to fall in love with her, but she suddenly disappears. When he tries to find her, it puts his life in danger.

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Who is the real Christina? See more »

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Mystery

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PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

May 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cristina  »

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Budget:

CAD 1,250,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
"Would you die for Christina?" Naah, not particularly
21 June 2007 | by (Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

The pop-artish U.S. one-sheet for this film promises great things -- a treacherous protagonist, a house on fire, somebody wearing leather fetish gear before BDSM was a widely known activity. Well, all those elements can be found, but unfortunately, they're integrated into a plodding mystery that a viewer would swear was a '70's TV movie-of-the-week except the film is in Panavision and the pacing is even slower.

The premise initially offers hope for intrigue. A long-unemployed man gets a too-good-to-be-true offer from a mysterious lady who appears to know everything about his situation except what TV shows he watches while atrophying at home: agree to a paper marriage so she can avoid immigration hassles, and collect a tidy sum. And like many thriller heroes of a bygone era, he does not have the benefit of the collected works of David Mamet to alert him to when he's being set up for a Spanish Prisoner, so of course he plays along. And before you can say Charlie Lampert, he receives his money, but she vanishes. Most men would be content to have the cash and the absentee wife, but no, the sap loves this woman he's barely known, and insists on tracking her down.

Thus follows the requisite journey among mercenary investigators, cynical cops, know-nothing butlers, hit men, porn dealers, transvestites, phony mediums, and an oh-so-helpful Girl Friday, as our hero finds out Christina is Not Who She Seemed! By the time we arrive at the climax that involves one of the most long-winded instances of the inveterate Myth of the Talking Killer, conveniently explaining the whole sordid plan to a minor character we've known for only ten minutes, The Big Reveal is just not that big a deal anymore.

Writer/Producer Trevor Wallace apparently was connected to several convoluted thrillers of the '70's, the best received being THE GROUNDSTAR CONSPIRACY with George Peppard, on which he served as producer only. He can twist the plot around fine, but he can't put any real sense of urgency into the matter. Nor does star Peter Haskell makes us believe it is paramount for him to find his elusive beloved.

Barbara Parkins meanwhile is a gorgeous, reasonably interesting, and somewhat campy vamp, particularly when she shows up, in soft focus, in the previously mentioned bondage gear. One wonders if there was more exploration of this character's deviant personality trait filmed, but omitted to secure the film's PG rating. But she's also such a cold fish that any other man would have taken a page from Bunuel's THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE and just dumped a bucket of water on her head and walked away.

And thus so should you if you have opportunity to view this poor potboiler. Some films stay obscure for a reason. But if you find a copy of the poster, go ahead and get it: it will be a lot more entertaining on your wall than the movie will be on your television.


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