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The Tamarind Seed (1974)

 -  Romance | Drama  -  22 July 1974 (Sweden)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 942 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 8 critic

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

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 July 1974 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda del tamarindo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Oskar Homolka. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Features Foreign Correspondent (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Man With a Monkey
(uncredited)
Music by Sam Fonteyn
Chappell Recorded Music Library
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User Reviews

 
Sophisticated and beautiful Cold War romantic thriller
21 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It's been years since I saw this film so have forgotten many of the plot details, but this beautiful romance has lingered in my mind for three decades. It's a movie with everything...intriguing suspense thriller plot, beautiful exotic Caribbean setting, and especially of course the compelling love story of two sympathetic characters from opposite sides of the Cold War.

The tale begins with a British Home Office assistant, Judith Farrow, who has gone to Barbados to recover from a failed love affair. During her tropical holiday, she meets Feodore Sverdlov, a handsome Soviet air attaché in Paris. They visit the colorful island sights together and fall in love. This paradise romance is, however, complicated by their respective positions with governments on opposite sides of the Cold War. Thus, these two individuals of integrity are forced into deception (alleged spy recruiting) in order to disguise their relationship. Perhaps Sverdlov will even be inspired toward defection? Above all, their ill advised love can only spell danger.

For me, this movie is made memorable by its two stars, Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif. This is my absolute favorite Julie Andrews film. She is at her most radiant here portraying Judith, a beautiful, intelligent, lonely, vulnerable, yet quietly strong woman. She is quite magnificent in her role even without the usual musical aspects. Omar Sharif plays surely Russia's most magnetic, handsome, and compelling diplomat. His dark brown eyes alone would thaw the Cold War! It is absolutely believable that these two principled, intelligent individuals would fall in love. They are perfect on screen together, mature yet captivating.

The film reflects its era, with the dominance of Cold War issues the subject for most plots involving international intrigue. Here, however, the Russian star is refreshingly not the enemy or the villain of the piece, but rather instead its romantic, noble, and conflicted hero. The pair reveal their own moral views, sometimes contrary to their country's official positions. Julie Andrews appeared earlier in Torn Curtain, the 1966 Hitchcock Cold War thriller which also starred Paul Newman, but I much preferred this movie since it focuses more on character portrayal and romance.

No, not a James Bond action adventure or a spy thriller really, more rather an exotic and dangerous romance with some intricate, suspenseful plot details. A high recommendation for this wonderful old fashioned movie...a perfectly cast, touching & intelligent jewel, and a film which unfortunately appears to be little known these days.


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