Grizzled American private detective in England investigates a complicated case of blackmail turned murder involving a rich but honest elderly general, his two loose socialite daughters, a pornographer and a gangster.
In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... See full summary »
The Assassination Bureau has existed for decades (perhaps centuries) until Diana Rigg begins to investigate it. The high moral standing of the Bureau (only killing those who deserve it) is called into question by her. She puts out a contract for the Bureau to assassinate its leader on the eve of World War I.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
This is the kind of movie made with care and respect for the audience:lavish sets,dazzling costumes,and a very attractive cast including Diana Rigg,Telly Savalas -both teamed for "on her majesty's secret service" the same year-,Philippe Noiret,Curd Jurgens and the sadly missed Oliver Reed.
The screenplay is often full of wit and humor,with such lines as "if there's a war,people will kill each others for a penny,and we will have to shut up shop (our "assassination bureau").Actually the whole movie is a long chase through a chocolate-box Europa with a lot of traps,bombs and disguises.Diana Rigg's appearances run the whole gamut from a Victorian prude resembling Mary Poppins to a femme fatale,from a widow in deep mourning to a nun,she's astonishing.So does (and is )Oliver Reed,who plays some British Arsène Lupin.History is given a rough ride when Francis-Ferdinand is murdered in Vienna (instead of Sarajevo) but who cares?
Best scene:Diana Rigg is alone in her hotel bedroom in Venice,Italy:she can hear a ticking.No,it's not the clock.So she rushes into her bathroom where a tap(faucet) is dripping.But when it's closed,the noise still remains.Is-it a bomb? .The brothel scene where Rigg is mistaken for a hooker is also great fun!
Two movies made in the seventies might have been influenced by Basil Dearden's amusing comedy:Douglas's Hickox's "theater of blood" (1973) also starring Rigg- a treat that should not be missed-and Ted Kotcheff's "who's killing the great chefs of Europe?" (1978)-Jacqueline Bisset cooks a bombe glacée here-.The people who liked this movie could do worse than picking those delightful black comedies.
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