A network of older spies from the West recruits a young intelligence officer with a photographic memory to accompany them on a mission inside Russia. They must recover a letter written by the CIA that promises American assistance to Russia if China gets the atomic bomb.Written by
When Ward and the Whore talk in the bathroom at the end, the movie crew is reflected in the tiles. See more »
I think I'm a superior combination of intellect and physique, athlete and scholar. When a risk is to be run I formulate the ideal procedure and calculate the chances involved with exquisite precision. If the percentages are sufficiently in my favor I put myself into motion having absolute confidence in the performance of my reflexes.
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The Museum of Modern Art in NYC is having a "Huston family" festival and they showed this film last night. Big crowd to see this film that was a flop when originally released. I had been wanting to see it for some time out of curiosity: George Sanders appears in drag as a San Francisco gay bar pianist, and Barbara Parkins has a role, three years after "Valley of the Dolls." (I love Parkins not just for the "Valley" connection. I think she's talented and beautiful and I love her voice.) I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. So much better than the stuff Hollywood cranks out today, although sometimes just as difficult to follow. There's lots of verbal exposition in the movie, and at one point I think it's even implied that the Orson Welles character is a homosexual.
The sexual politics of the film are outdated, perhaps. But, then, the political correctness of today is even more numbing.
The movie pops up on the Fox Movie Channel occasionally. Be sure to see it in letterbox.
By the way, Pauline Kael hated the movie. Funny, bitchy review in her book "Deeper Into Movies." But just because Pauline hated it, doesn't mean you will. She complains about the sound, but I didn't notice a problem. She also complains about the look of the film, but I think the verite style was intentional.
One tiny thing I thought I noticed, the old lady who is the mother of the Russian thief Barbara Parkins lives with seems to have too nice a manicure! I could be wrong. The moment flew by.
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