A plane takes off from Peru (in a long no-dialogue scene) in a storm with two passengers; it lands in Panama with one. The missing man had valuable oil-location maps; everyone who is after ... See full summary »
The opening developments in this picture are promising in the manner that Hitchcock so often exploited: an innocent bystander finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is drawn into intrigue of which he has no prior knowledge, and in which he has no interest. But he has something that the villains want - while all he wants is to get out of the situation alive. So far, so good. It is not long, however, before the complications give way to standard action fare, the emphasis now being on hiding, getting away, deciding who is trustworthy - elements used many times in many pictures, some better, some worse. Ultimately, the story disappoints. There are rewarding performances by steely-eyed Stanley Baker, and sweaty, cowardly Theodore Bikel. Robert Mitchum plays the lead role with competence, if not distinction.
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