Anthony Hancock gives up his office job to become an abstract artist. He has a lot of enthusiasm, but little talent, and critics scorn his work. Nevertheless, he impresses an emerging very talented artist.
A year after Sheila is killed in a hit-and-run, her multi-millionaire husband invites a group of friends to spend a week on his yacht playing a scavenger hunt-style mystery game. The game turns out to be all too real and all too deadly.
Two British agents are murdered by a mysterious Neo-Nazi organization in West Berlin. The British Secret Service sends agent Quiller to investigate. Soon Quiller is confronted with Neo-Nazi chief "Oktober" and involved in a dangerous game where each side tries to find out the enemy's headquarters at any price.Written by
Dirk Bauer <email@example.com>
Not terribly audience-friendly, but smart and very, very cool.
This isn't your average James Bond knockoff spy thriller; the fact that the screenplay is by playwright Harold Pinter is the first clue. It's a bit strange to see such exquisitely Pinter-esque dialogue (the laconic, seemingly innocuous sentences; the profound silences; the syntax that isn't quite how real people actually talk) in a spy movie, but it really works.
Quiller isn't your average spy. He's played by George Segal with a cool superficiality that works very nicely; he doesn't go charging in with guns blazing -- he doesn't even carry a gun -- and the one time he does try to fight his way out of a sticky spot, he gets pounded. The other standouts in the cast are Alec Guinness as Quiller's controller, and Max von Sydow as the leader of the neo-Nazi cell that Quiller is attempting to crack.
At first glance, the movie is deeply frustrating, and the script appears full of holes, but in fact, it's so smart that it assumes the audience is bright enough to pick up on the breadcrumb trail of clues that it's actually leaving. All in all, I recommend it, but with reservations. If you like tidy conclusions and have limited patience with extreme subtlety, this may not be to your taste.
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