One of the few (if any at the time this film was made) films shot in England with New York City's 'Little Italy" as the locale. This was Edward Dmytryk's first film after he had refused to ... See full summary »
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Do not confound this Human Factor with another one, with the very same title, even the french one, made four years later by Otto Preminger. Both last features of those great directors. See more »
In the final scene when Kinsdale shoots the fleeing terrorist in the back, after his Colt 1911 runs out of ammunition, the slide does lock back, and he continues to pull the trigger with the gun making a clicking sound, as if it is a double action. The 1911 is a single action and will not make that sound. See more »
Did Edward Dmytryck really once direct The Caine Mutiny? On the evidence of this totally uninvolving, blood stained revenge tale, it's hard to believe that Dmytryck ever possessed any directorial talent. The Human Factor is slow-moving, cynical and emotionless.
Also difficult to smallow is the presence of several fine actors. George Kennedy looks suitably frantic throughout, but is unable to make his predicament convincing due to poor scripting. John Mills has a major supporting role but his performance is as cold and inexpressive as the tone of the whole film. Raf Vallone (an Italian Oliver Reed look-a-like) meanders in and out of the story pointlessly as a policeman out to solve a multiple murder.
The story has Kennedy as a NATO war-game computer programmer who lives and works in Naples, Italy. He returns home one day to find his wife and children dead, clinically executed by a mystery gunman or gunmen. He uses his computer access to track down the killers, and figures out that those responsible are a terrorist gang intent on murdering American families that live in Europe. Instead of passing this information on to the police, he decides to turn vigilante, tracking down and killing the terrorists himself.
By 1975, film-makers clearly understood that audiences were hungry for Death Wish style revenge stories. But here, they have left out the sensational aspects of films like Death Wish, and tried (unsuccessfully) to give their story a political subtext. All this does is to slow down the action and make the plot treacherously confusing. The unpleasant finale, in which the villains lay siege to a crowded supermarket, is the only sequence which comes close to being powerful but it is over so quickly that you might miss it if you blink. All things considered, The Human Factor is a pretty dismal movie experience.
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