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14 user 23 critic

The Internecine Project (1974)

A retired agent devises a cunning plan to eliminate those who know too much about his past.

Director:

Ken Hughes

Writers:

Barry Levinson (screenplay), Jonathan Lynn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Coburn ... Professor Robert Elliot
Lee Grant ... Jean Robertson
Harry Andrews ... Bert Parsons
Ian Hendry ... Alex Hellman
Michael Jayston ... David Baker
Christiane Krüger ... Christina Larsson (as Christiane Kruger)
Keenan Wynn ... E. J. Farnsworth
Terence Alexander ... Business Tycoon
Philip Anthony Philip Anthony ... Eliot's Secretary (as Phillip Anthony)
Julian Glover ... Arnold Pryce-Jones
Mary Larkin ... Jean's Secretary
Ewan Roberts ... Laboratory Technician
David Swift David Swift ... Chester Drake
Rolf Wanka ... Art Dealer
Ray Callaghan Ray Callaghan ... TV Producer
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Storyline

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 <piest@pobox.leidenuniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who will be alive when the hands stop? See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Morte está ao Telefone See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming in London, James Coburn took time off to be photographed for the cover photograph for Wings third album, 'Band on the Run'. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intriguing plot is carefully yet slowly unwound...
20 September 2017 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

James Coburn (gaunt, and with a thick mustache) plays an American diplomat and future adviser to the US President who needs his former life as a secret agent permanently scrubbed; unfortunately, he has four acquaintances in London (a civil servant, a prostitute, a thuggish masseur and a scientist doing research on a device that kills with a high-frequency sound) who know too much about his past. He orchestrates a plan to have the four unwittingly eliminate each other, though a sideline romance with former-flame and uptight writer Lee Grant might be his undoing. Very clever thriller from screenwriters Barry Levinson (who also produced) and Jonathan Lynn, adapting Mort W. Elkind's book "Internecine", though it does take a while to get this plot into motion (and involves a great deal of telephone ringing). Director Ken Hughes is attracted to intricate details and technicalities, but a snappy pace doesn't seem to be his thing. At least one of the killings (with the victim in the shower) is especially ungainly, however the film isn't terribly violent or bloody--Hughes and his writers are more interested in plot development than circumstance. Good performances all around, including Grant as the lover. Grant matches up well with Coburn, and she has a funny, natural reaction when he tells her she should be working on something more her speed--a cookbook. **1/2 from ****


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