Golden Rendezvous (1977) Poster

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Surprisingly violent, otherwise forgettable proto-"Die Hard" thriller
gridoon202012 February 2010
"Golden Rensezvous" looks and sounds a lot like a TV movie, but the one thing that is quite un-TV-like about it, at least for its era, is the amount of violence it contains: lots of bloody squibs, stabbings, even a massacre of innocent people. The film is also notable for its similarities to "Die Hard", which came out a decade later: terrorists and hostages in a confined space (this time, a ship), and one resourceful hero who has to fight them from the inside. Of course you have to ignore the various implausibilities, like the astonishingly easy way in which the bad guys smuggle themselves AND a bomb inside the ship. Unfortunately, Richard Harris, who is usually an excellent actor (check out the same year's "Orca" for an example), seems to be operating on autopilot here, except when he's in action. Ann Turkel is decorative most of the way, until she picks up a machine gun near the very end. There are some other big names in the cast, but most of them are almost completely wasted. The movie gets a passing grade, but you can see why it is largely forgotten today. ** out of 4.
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What if...
Bob-4515 July 1999
Terrorists kidnap a nuclear scientist. Later a strange passenger and strange cargo are loaded aboard a tramp steamer which will pass within a few miles of a ship loaded with gold bullion. Coincidence?

THE GOLDEN RENDEZVOUS is one of those films which evokes "what ifs..." What if the producers had attached the prelude filmed when the show was broadcast on network TV? What if they had hired someone other than the thoroughly soused Richard Harris? What if Ann Turkel had been costumed in sexier outfits? And what if the producers hadn't hired a very overweight (and, at that time, very well known) Dorothy Malone for a throwaway role?

The prelude, added for TV does wonders for the films exposition. The film sans the prelude is much truer to the Alistair MacLean novel, but what is clever in novels is sometimes simply baffling on the screen. The ending is actually better than the novel; and, it would have been great if Harris hadn't resorted to some silly derring-do with dual submachine guns; and even better if he hadn't forgotten his lines in the denouement?

The best thing about this movie is the terrific (and I mean TERRIFIC) score by Jeff Wayne. The music adds a sense of urgency one never feels from what is up on the screen.
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A Case of What Might Have Been
rafe_nottage16 May 2005
Poor old Alistair MacLean. With a few exceptions, movie makers the world over have managed to turn his very well written stories into not-so well written movies. In this attempt, a tired looking Richard Harris plays Ships Officer Carter, trying to deal with odd passengers, strange coffins and even stranger outfits as worn by the lovely Ann Turkel. Toss in a couple of not so great cameos from David Janssen and Dorothy Malone, a not so scary John Vernon, assorted plot "twists" (I use the term in it's broadest possible sense), and you get a movie that has all the pieces but never actually works out where they go.

What does it have going for it? A good basic storyline, some magnificent music (a great score from Jeff Wayne), a couple of quite good stunts and Ann Turkel. However, against this you have several examples of very ordinary acting, a plot that doesn't so much unfold as explode, the slowest "5 minute countdown" ever to take place in Hollwywood and the travesty of having MacLean's wonderful last "plot twist" (as read in the book) ignored so that Harris can go running around armed with a submachine and a determined look.

*sigh* The Guns of Navarone, Force 10 from Navarone, Where Eagles Dare and Ice Station Zebra (despite it's flaws) were examples of how to make a MacLean come alive on the screen. Golden Rendezvous does not make the grade.

Rafe Nottage Sydney 16 May 2005
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Great cast with so-so direction
udar5520 February 2010
John Carter (Richard Harris), First Officer on the Caribbean Star, finds himself in trouble when terrorist Luis Carreras (John Vernon) and his men overtake the ship. Carreras has smuggled a nuclear bomb on the ship and plans to detonate it after stealing some gold bullion from a US cargo ship they plan to draw to them. Carter takes matters into his own hands and teams with the ship's doctor (Gordon Jackson) and beautiful passenger Susan (Ann Turkel) to take on the terrorists and save all of the passengers.

Adapted from an Alistair MacLean novel, this action-suspense flick was unleashed with posters promising, "The action of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE! The suspense of ICE STATION ZEBRA! The drama of WHERE EAGLES DARE!" I don't think it came through on any of those. The script is muddled with the first 40 minutes trying for suspense but getting brain twists. Also, the blooming romantic relationship between Harris and Turkel will leave you going, "Huh?" as she slaps him and then he kisses her. Director Ashley Lazarus just can't seem to get things to work and, if the IMDb is correct, some extra work was done by Freddie Francis. The abrupt ending would suggest a troubled production. Too bad as this has one of those ensemble casts that only a 70s disaster epic could secure and they are all game. In addition to Harris, Turkel and Vernon, you get supporting roles by David Janssen, Burgess Meredith, John Carradine, Dorthy Malone and Robert Beatty. The film also has one of the most ill-fitting synthesizer scores I've ever heard.
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Not the best Alistair McClean Adaptation but enjoyable all the same
greene51519 December 2007
Alistair McClean's Golden Rendezvous has Richard Harris as first officer Carter who on-board the casino/cargo ship the Caribbean star becomes involved with intrigue and the usual McClean daring do. John Vernon is the villainous Carreas who holds the ship to ransom with an atomic bomb in return for gold bullion, the inspiration for Die- Hard is all too apparent you have Harris sneaking about the ship in a manner all too familiar which Bruce Willis would later emulate Ann Turkel(former Mrs Richard Harris) Burgess Meredith as a shady gambler, John Carradine also a gambler. it's an entertaining film which is unobtainable for years! as luck would have it you can watch this on you-tube! hopefully some bright spark will release this on the shiny format.
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Band of gold
Chase_Witherspoon1 July 2010
Action-packed suspense thriller finds innocuous-looking purser Carter (Harris) the unlikely hero when the floating casino on which he works is hijacked by a heavily armed group of mercenaries, led by John Vernon, the pirates en route to a rendezvous with another ocean liner, loaded with gold bullion. A cast full of supernovas, dazzling set & stunt work, and a catchy theme tune by Jeff Wayne create a pleasing audio-visual experience light on logic but fast paced and entertaining nonetheless.

While Harris clearly has centre stage, Jackson, Vernon and Meredith benefit from key supporting roles in this somewhat bloody thriller. Vernon in particular, is sadistically ruthless and calculated as a business-like assassin, cool, methodical and neither fooled nor intimidated by Harris' faux bravado. Turkel (Mrs Harris at the time) affects inane dialogue without displaying much acting talent, while capable cast including Janssen, former leading lady Malone, Beatty and horror maestro Carradine are wasted in frivolous supporting roles that look as though they were edited down to virtual bit parts in post production; in point of fact, some key plot development is conspicuously absent, and the narrative can at times, lack cohesion.

But in spite of the obvious flaws, this remains an easy viewing nonsense, with an attractive international cast, pulsating sound and plenty of graphic action - the scene in which the mercenaries first rappel through the casino windows is sure to catch a few off guard, and sets the tone for the remainder of the movie. Not the best translation of an Alistair MacLeanthriller, gratuitously violent (lots of claret), and yet somehow, irresistibly entertaining.
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paulackerley7 October 2019
I'm an Alistair MacLean fan and knowledgeable about all the film adaptations, many of which are a genuine guilty pleasure for a worldwide audience. However it is impossible to find any merit in this film. Every aspect of this Richard Harris vanity project-cum-producers-now-notorious-criminal-money-laundering-scheme of a film is dismal. The script and screenplay standard are that of a high school play. Beyond awful, given the expectations of an international cinema audience and the reputation of the MacLean thriller brand. The acting is abysmal, the editing decisions bring new depths of incoherence to an already incoherent treatment and the modest, South African anti-apartheid documentary film-maker Ashley Lazarus is clearly so far out of his depth in the world of film-making that it's hard even to believe that the producers were ever serious about allowing him to deliver a film at all. Given that the whole thing was bossed by its lead, it's likely that Lazarus didn't even have a say. Sometimes films can be so charmingly bad that you can take a day off from your entertainment expectations and actually enjoy watching the carnage of a team having an off-day. This film however seems to despise its audience with the ineptitude of its execution. It really doesn't care about you. It looks bad. It sounds bad: the Jeff Wayne - War of the Worlds composer - soundtrack and its two variations on a theme - the opening title and the comic humming-ticking-sequencer-synth bomb motif, can't have had sight of any film footage, randomly dropped in as it is. And the film leaves you feeling bad. People joke about annoying moments in life when 'you'll never get those two hours back'. Watch this and you won't. But in this case, you'll also really resent it.
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Richard Harris handling a bunch of terrorist desperados at sea almost alone
clanciai4 November 2017
This is one of Alistair MacLean's most nervously exciting thrillers, and the film is equally sweaty. You won't have any nails left to bite when it is over.

A Caribbean cruiser with the crème de la crème on board, all posh multi millionaires with one or another question mark, is leaving some port somewhere, there is a gang sitting around the roulette, there are cocktail parties, all are well dressed and may not appear unless they are proper enough, and of course there is a femme fatale among them, seemingly the mistress of David Janssen, one of the greatest question marks on board.

There is also a suspicious cancer patient closely guarded by a forbidding German nurse, and soon important members of the crew start to get killed, especially around the communication centre.

Fortunately Richard Harris is on board, and another one to help with the situation is Gordon Jackson as the doctor, whose help is going to be needed when the ship gets crowded with patients and bodies.

There is a suspicious coffin on board as well, the contents of which is anything but a dead body. There the intrigue starts, and Richard Harris will get his hands full in due order, as he always does.

It's a great film of suspense no matter how cheaply made it is, you don't have to put much effort to it when Alistair MacLean has written the story and already provided all the details needed to put together an awesome show of violence, war, gunfights, sinking ships, explosions, bloody murders and a terrifying plot. Great show!
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