Stanley Baker's character is sent by his British employer to persuade an Italian racing car designer to defect. His visit to the Italian factory goes horribly wrong and many are killed. His employer devises a daring scheme to get him safely out of the country.Written by
La Tarantelle de Belphegor
Music by Roch-Albert (pseudonym of Louis Antoine Jullien)
Arranged by Jacob (Will) Kappey See more »
The robbery of an Italian automobile factory goes horribly wrong, resulting in the deaths of several policeman. After he escapes, the robber, O'Donovan (Stanley Baker), is able to blackmail his sponsor into helping him get out of the country. Their plan is to use an international automobile race as a cover to smuggle O'Donovan out of Italy and into Switzerland. O'Donovan will have to impersonate one of the co-drivers. Will the other drivers go along with the plan and can O'Donovan keep his cool all the way to the Swiss border?
This is one of those cases where I find a film underrated on IMDb. IMDb - 5.6/10. Me - 8/10. So it's obvious that I enjoyed Checkpoint much more than most. There's a lot I liked about director Ralph Thomas' film. There's plenty of drama, action, and intrigue throughout Checkpoint. The opening robbery, even though at this point we have no idea what's happening, is a great introduction to what is to come. The race scenes really worked with me and I found them incredibly exciting. I've seen other films with similar race scenes that either do not look "real" or are just plain old dull. The fight scene at the film's end is thrilling. It could have gone either way in my mind. The acting is top notch. Stanley Baker plays about as good a thugish brute as anyone. And Odile Versois is just delightful - a word I don't think I use very often, but it describes her perfectly. Finally, the Italian locations are as gorgeous as anything I've seen recently. It's all so beautifully filmed. I can't say enough about Ernest Steward's cinematography. My only complaint is with the second act of the film where Checkpoint seems to lose a bit of focus and almost turns into a schmaltzy romance. Still, the overall movie is highly enjoyable.
I don't know much about old racing cars, but the cars featured in Checkpoint are amazing looking machines. If you're into racing, it's probably worth checking out the movie for all the cool cars and real racing footage.
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