Noel Holcroft is a foreign-born American citizen working in New York City as an architect. In Geneva, he meets with a respected Swiss banker who tells him he has been designated to be executor of a huge four and a half billion dollar trust fund designed to make reparations for the war crimes of the Nazis. Holcroft's father, who committed suicide in 1945, was a key Hitler financial advisor, who became conscience-stricken about German war atrocities, turned against the Führer, and covertly diverted Nazi funds to a secret Swiss account. Under the terms of the covenant, Holcroft must locate the sons of his father's two associates so they can jointly activate their fathers' account. They battle the sinister forces seem to be trying to prevent them from signing the document, as it is believed that it will be used to establish a Fourth Reich.Written by
Sir Michael Caine replaced James Caan, who walked off the production the day before filming started. Director John Frankenheimer had to film around his absent lead character, until Caine was hired as his replacement. With time on his hands, Frankenheimer shot extra footage of the assassins in the Geneva ferry scene. See more »
The letter Manfredi gives Holcroft, despite being 40 years ago, looks brand new. See more »
[referring to Kessler]
What a brilliant way to hide - just become a world famous public figure!
See more »
International prints open with "The Cannon Group Presents" as the first title. This was because Cannon were in the process of taking over Thorn EMI -- the studio behind the pic. See more »
After reading nothing more than bad reps, I can see why. I find director John Frankenheimer to be a very capable action director, but here he's lost in a sea of murky conspiracies (involving a fourth Reich) and idle performances (Victoria Tennant and Anthony Andrews are unconvincing) in this very lukewarm, but drearily complicated political thriller. The problem mainly was contributed to the confounded screenplay (a Robert Ludlum adaptation), which lacked probability; efficient enough thrills and consisted of one-note characters. For most part it's about globe trotting (some striking international scenery), Michael Caine looking like a fish out of water, meeting up with important figures, those involved reminding each other how much danger they are in and shady scheming being set in motion for this 4.5 billion dollar Nazi fund. Too bad it's not as exciting and gripping, as it might sound. It lumbers along in quite an repetitive manner, even though a committed Frankenheimer tries his best to inject some stylishly, go-for-broke action suspense; when he does (and this few and far between) it shows his great eye for details and precision with the camera (he loved the tilting camera). Nonetheless he can only work what he has and what the source material allows (one or two stirring moments occur). No one really stands out from the cast; but Bernard Hepton has some amusing dialogue exchanges with Caine and Lilly Palmer has a small role. A frustratingly, unsatisfying mystery thriller.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this