6/10
Non-think, wafer-thin indulgence
13 January 2008
Curiously mediocre, middle-of-the-road film from director Blake Edwards, adapted from Michael Crichton's novel "A Case of Need," has James Coburn (cocky as ever, and enjoyably so) playing the new pathologist at a Boston hospital, sorting out the mystery of a young murder victim. Light drama keeps tongue-in-cheek yet has aspirations to be a whodunit and doesn't quite make the grade. Coburn's general panache is effortless, but he's just coasting through, and the role doesn't challenge him (or us) in any way. Jennifer O'Neill is attractive but (once again) underused as a romantic interest. Screenwriter Harriet Frank used the pseudonym James P. Bonner for the credits--just as original writer Crichton did (as Jeffrey Hudson) for his book! **1/2 from ****
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