A group of people converge on a barren Arctic island. They have their reasons for being there but when a series of mysterious accidents and murders take place, a whole lot of darker motives... See full summary »
A group of people converge on a barren Arctic island. They have their reasons for being there but when a series of mysterious accidents and murders take place, a whole lot of darker motives become apparent. Could the fortune in buried Nazi gold be the key to the mystery? Donald Sutherland and Vanessa Redgrave investigate. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
Director Don Sharp and a number of members of the crew during production got trapped on a glacier for three days in a blizzard "white-out". See more »
When everyone is outside after the generator explosion it is blowing a blizzard, but the flames are rising vertically with minimal wind disturbance rather than being virtually horizontal, revealing that wind machines are being used just on the area where the actors are. See more »
"Coming soon: Alistair MacLean's Goodbye California" See more »
German scientist Otto Gerran (Richard Widmark) leads an expedition to icy Bear Island - which was also a base for Nazi U-boats in WWII - for some kind of environmental research. Included in the group are fellow scientist Frank Lansing (Donald Sutherland), nurse Heddi Lindquist (Vanessa Redgrave), Russian Lechinski (Christopher Lee) and boat captain Smithy (Lloyd Bridges) among others. When they arrive at the titular location, the group discovers one of the three folks stationed there has gone missing. Before you can say TEN LITTLE INDIANS, folks start getting offed in an effort to hide the island's secret.
This is a pretty enjoyable action-mystery adaptation of Alistair MacLean's snowbound novel. The cast is all game, which is good as this must have been a hell of a production to shoot as 70% of it looks shot on location (Alaska and Canada). Director Don Sharp keeps things moving fast and, while you'll probably solve most of the mystery early on, there are still some nice twists. The production is nicely mounted, with great sets and some nice Bond-esquire snow chases. One great scene has Sutherland discovering a German U-boat and he finds the dead crew aboard it, shackled to their posts.
One interesting thing my friend who sent this to me pointed out is that this totally has a vibe of John Carpenter's THE THING. Now, of course, THE THING is a remake but I'd wager that film's screenwriter Bill Lancaster or John Carpenter saw this before setting about their version. The opening - where a lone guy runs across a snow-covered plain while being chased by a snowboat - sounds exactly like the opening of Carpenter's film. Look for Bruce Greenwood in his first big screen roll as Tommy the Technician, sporting an epic beard.
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