An American scientist is sent to Red China to steal the formula for a newly developed agricultural enzyme. What he is not told by his bosses is that a micro-sized bomb has been planted in his brain so that should the mission ever look likely to fail, he can be eliminated at the push of a button!Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
Peter Yates was the first choice as director. See more »
As John Hathaway is making his escape from China, he's seen driving a British army scout car. See more »
Political/ spy / thriller movie about Mao's contemporary China with a splendid Gregory Peck
An American scientific named Hathaway (Gregory Peck, after his acting in Stalking moon), Nobel prize winner , is enlisted by British Intelligence Service and assigned Mao's Red China to retrieve a formula about a revolutionary agricultural enzyme that eliminates starvation , diseases and multiply mass production . His chiefs (Arthur Hill , Alan Dobie) have implanted a microchip in his head for placing him in the solitary mission whose unique contact results to be Chang (Burt Kwouk , usual in Peter Sellers' Pink Panther). But he doesn't know that it can be exploded if the mission fails . Hathaway leaves his girlfriend Kay (Anne Heywood) and aboard airplane to Hong Kong . Later on , he's transported to north of China , nearly Russia , where he finds professor Soon Li (Keye Luke, the clever master in Kung-Fu series). There Hathaway interviews President Mao (Conrad Yama) .
This is a political/fiction/thriller , plenty of intrigue , suspense and action-packed in its final part . The film is an espionage story originally written by Ben Maddow with historic communist remarks during Mao Tse Tung period , as the'Great leap' and 'Red book of Mao'. In fact , there had propaganda campaigns mounted by Hong Kong communists claiming the film was anti Mao and anti Chinese consequently filming was transferred to Taiwán . Stars Gregory Peck who gives nice acting , though originally intended to be as a starring vehicle for Frank Sinatra . It packs colorful and evocative cinematography , shot in Pinewood studios of London , by John Wilcox and uncredited Ted Moore . Atmospheric production design , it was used the lab set left over from Fox's Fantastic voyage (1966). Moving and suspenseful musical score by the great master Jerry Goldsmith .The film is lavishly produced by Mort Abrahams and Arthur P. Jacobs who previously produced 'Planet of apes' . The motion picture was middlingly directed by J.L. Thomson (1914-2002) , during his splendor and successful time in the 60s , when he directed hits as 'Mackenna's gold' , 'Cape fear' , 'Taras Bulba' and 'Guns of Navarone' ; though in his last period he only directed Charles Bronson vehicles , such as : 'Death wish 4' , 'Kinjite' , 'St Ives' , 'Messenger of Death' , among others . The movie will appeal to Gregory Peck devotees.
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