During World War I, a British aristocrat, an American entrepreneur, and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battlecruiser, which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar.
In 1909 Arizona, retired lawman Sam Burgade's life is thrown upside-down when his old enemy Zach Provo and six other convicts escape a chain-gang in the Yuma Territorial Prison and come gunning for Burgade.
Andrew V. McLaglen
At a Catholic public school, Benjamin "Benjie" Stanfield (Dominic Guard) is tired of being the teacher's pet and decides to play a practical joke on his form master Father Goddard (Richard ... See full summary »
Former secret agent Robert Elliot (Coburn) will be promoted to government advisor. In order to make sure no-one will ever know about his dirty past, he has invented a very ingenious plan to get rid of his four helpers: he gets them all to unknowingly kill each other in the course of a single night.Written by
Homme A. Piest <email@example.com>
James Coburn is a slick white collar heavy in this twisty thriller, scripted by future directors Barry Levinson ("Rain Man"), who also produced, and Jonathan Lynn ("Clue"). Coburn again projects incredible cool as Robert Elliot, a "professor" who has a major opportunity for advancement in the government. The catch is, he can't afford to have anybody alive who's got knowledge of his past. There are four of these people, and Elliot arranges for all of them to kill each other over the course of a single night. Despite his intricate planning, things don't always go that smoothly.
The excellent cast is the major draw of this film, capably directed by Ken Hughes ("Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"). It's very well paced and sometimes reasonably suspenseful, with a story that might not stand up to a lot of scrutiny, but does solidly entertain for its duration. Another asset is the eclectic soundtrack composed by Roy Budd ("Get Carter" '71).
Coburn is fun to watch in the role of an anti-hero, a man who initially is taken aback at the idea of eliminating these skeletons in his closet, but quickly makes up his mind to be cold-blooded about the whole affair. Lee Grant is fine (and looks very nice, to boot) as the aggressive, feminist journalist with whom he was once involved. Ian Hendry is wonderfully antsy as the diabetic Alex, Christiane Kruger is delectably sexy as Christina, Julian Glover has a good, brief role as a TV host, and Keenan Wynn is endlessly amusing as usual as tycoon E.J. Farnsworth. But the shining star of the production is Harry Andrews as a masseur named Bert Parsons. The character is an angry misogynist, and the viewer may be intrigued and wonder just how this character came to be this way.
Overall, good entertainment. Nothing special, but there are much worse ways to spend an hour and a half.
Seven out of 10.
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