An Australian outback police detective is sent on a special assignment to the UK, to return an Australian citizen accused of murder. Only this is not an ordinary man, he is a UN high commissioner for peace talks taking place in London.
Rod Taylor plays a policeman sent to return a sensitive case; An Australian citizen, currently acting as high commissioner for peace talks who is wanted for an old charge -- of murder. The talks are too sensitive to be disturbed, so Taylor ends up watching Christopher Plummer as he conducts his talks, and discovers that some want the talks to fail enough to think that killing Plummer is an obvious way to stop them.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
First time that Australian actor Rod Taylor got to play an Australian again on screen in five years, the last having been in The V.I.P.s (1963). Taylor had been playing Americans. One of this movie's production companies was co-star Rod Taylors own company, Rodlor Inc. See more »
During the discussion with the police after the shooting, the gun barrel is protruding from the camera lens on some shots but not on others. See more »
This gets off to a cracking start with Rod Taylor's no-nonsense outback cop, Scobie Malone, engaged by the New South Wales premier - played by an oddly uncredited Leo McKern - to arrest Australia's High Commissioner in London, a former political rival, accused of murdering a former wife.
The stage is set for a taut political thriller, but once Malone reaches London the tension gradually dissipates as he finds himself acting as Commissioner Christopher Plummer's bodyguard in a meandering cold war plot involving a peace conference and assassination attempts. The sort of thing you could see regularly in second-rate episodes of the likes of The Saint or Jason King back in the day. Hard to figure how the Calvin Lockhart character fitted in, nor Franchot Tone in his final film, in a brief cameo as an ambassador confined to bed. Among the baddies are the familiar faces of Burt Kwouk and Derren Nesbitt, the latter with hardly a word of dialogue.
True, Rod Taylor is very good in the lead, and it was a shame he was never given another chance to reprise the character. Plummer and Lilli Palmer are convincing under the circumstances, Camilla Sparv and Daliah Lavi provide plenty of glamour and there's a fitting score from Georges Delerue, but all these hardly compensate for what seems a missed opportunity.
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