The Tamarind Seed (1974)

PG  |   |  Romance, Drama  |  22 July 1974 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,049 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 12 critic

During a Caribbean holiday, a British civil servant finds herself falling in love with a Russian agent.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Feodor Sverdlov
Jack Loder
Fergus Stephenson (as Daniel O'Herlihy)
Margaret Stephenson
Oskar Homolka ...
Gen. Golitsyn (as Oscar Homolka)
Bryan Marshall ...
George MacLeod
David Baron ...
Richard Paterson
Rachel Paterson
Roger Dann ...
Col. Moreau
Sharon Duce ...
Sandy Mitchell
George Mikell ...
Maj. Stukalov
Anna Skriabina
Dimitri Memenov (as Constantin de Goguel)
John Sullivan ...
1st KGB Agent


While on holiday in Barbados to recover from the lingering effects of a love affair that ended badly, Judith Farrow meets Feodor Sverdlov, a handsome Russian. They find pleasure in each other's company as they visit colorful places on the island, but there are complications to their budding romance after their holiday in the tropical paradise comes to an end. Problems arise due to geopolitical concerns of the Cold War, for Judith is the assistant to an important minister serving in the British Home Office in London, and Feodor is the Soviet air attaché assigned in Paris to Soviet General Golitsyn. British intelligence officer, Jack Loder, suspects the Sverdlov is attempting to recruit Judith to work as a Soviet spy, and this is in fact what Feodor tells his boss that he is attempting to accomplish. Feodor tells Judith that this is a way for him to be able to see her without bringing about suspicion from his people. Due to somewhat similar thinking on the British side, she is ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Romance | Drama


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 July 1974 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda del tamarindo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of Oskar Homolka. See more »


Feodor Sverdlov: I belong to a great country and a great socialist movement which one day will be accepted by the whole world.
Judith Farrow: God forbid.
Feodor Sverdlov: How could He if He doesn't exist?
See more »


Features Foreign Correspondent (1940) See more »


Man With a Monkey
Music by Sam Fonteyn
Chappell Recorded Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

17 May 2001 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

Blake Edwards' "The Tamarind Seed" falls into the "lost" category, more specifically the era spanning 1968-1974, when Edwards released a series of films, ranging from good to great, that died a bloody box-office death. That doesn't mean that any of these films were bad. You can't account for audience taste.

Anyway, "The Tamarind Seed" is a different film for Edwards: an international spy thriller. I think the reason for the film not being well received by the public was that Edwards was stereotyped as a comedy director. Indeed, many of his best films ("10", "S.O.B.", "Victor/Victoria", and "The Pink Panther Strikes Again") are in this genre. But during this period, Edwards made many fine straight films such as "Experiment in Terror", "Darling Lili", "Wild Rovers", "The Carey Treatment" and "Gunn". These films are lost today, thanks to clueless studio executives who didn't know how to market them and the clueless moviegoers who stayed away in droves.

Lucky for us, cable TV still remains the forum to catch some of these lost treasures (except "Gunn" which seems lost forever) and AMC has been playing "The Tamarind Seed" frequently. Early video copies distributed by Magnetic Video and Embassy Home Entertainment still exist in used video stores around the country.

Now, about the film itself. Edwards has crafted a pretty skillful thriller here. Spy movies often die a quick death because most directors think they have to be either T&A fests or relentlessly talky. What makes the Bond films so much fun is that there's a sly sense of humor and Edwards understands that. But Edwards maintains a smooth control over his material here and doesn't play this material for monster laughs (rightly).This is a real good story, which I will not reveal, because the film's success is dependent on Edwards' surprises. The acting is great (with Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif in the lead roles, how could it be bad?), the cinematography (by the great Freddie Young in Panavision)is dazzling as it would be from that great talent, and the script gets involved enough in the story that we can follow it without getting confused.

"The Tamarind Seed" is very much worth the effort to find. Once you see it, it will be hard to forget it.

**** out of 4 stars

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