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An American businessman who is mistaken by everybody for a super-secret British agent on the trail of smuggled diamonds. When supposedly his liaison at the British Embassy meets him at the Lisbon airport, the car intended for him is blown up. No matter how much he protests, all of which are accepted as cover for his actual mission, he is then transported into a world of scheming, dangerous, underworld characters.Written by
When I was in high school I played in our school orchestra, and one of the pieces we regularly performed was the popular song made famous by Frank Sinatra, "Strangers in the Night". On the sheet music written in fine print under the title were the words, "From the 1966 Universal motion picture 'A Man Could Get Killed'". It sounded like it might be a spy movie because of the year it was released, and being a fan of spy movies I eventually did some research on what the film is about - a fortune in smuggled diamonds sought by spy versus spy versus average guy mistaken for a spy (kind of like Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest"). I hate what they call "spy spoofs" which are disrespectful to the genre and don't take romantic heroism seriously (and which lack the admiring parody found in the television series "Get Smart"), but this is not that tongue-in-cheek "camp" stuff. It's a movie with a serious plot yet with loads of humor, and that's a totally different animal.
The cast and the Portuguese locations sounded great, so I started looking for a DVD of this gem I had missed. I couldn't find one anywhere, and I looked and looked in every place I could think of! Why this wonderful movie has been neglected is beyond me, but at last I did find a DVD on an obscure online auction site and the seller shipped it to my USA home from Europe. I am thankful, because I absolutely loved this movie when I finally got a chance to see it.
James Garner and Melina Mercouri are the "strangers in the night". Sandra Dee, Tony Franciosa, Robert Coote and all the cast are very enjoyable to watch, and the plot is fun! I hadn't seen Melina Mercouri in her famous role in "Never On Sunday" (1960), but I had seen her in "Topkapi" (1964). It was long ago and I didn't remember much about her except that she seemed intense. When she appeared on the screen in "A Man Could Get Killed" she struck me as the kind of husky-voiced foreign woman who is both laid-back and excitable at the same time. To date her would be like having a date with a Soviet commissar or something. Yet as the movie progressed she really began to allure me, and she became just wonderful! I fell in love with her, as James Garner's character secretly does too. This leads up to the final scene of the movie, which is simply unforgettable.
I realize that everybody has their tastes and maybe for you this caper movie wouldn't be anything special, but my wish is for those of you who would be inclined to like it the same pleasure I had viewing it! I also want it to be made more widely available so it will finally get the recognition it deserves.
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