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Monday, July 20, 2015

The Tamarind Seed (1974)

A young widow (Julie Andrews), who works in the British Home Office, is vacationing in the Caribbean when she meets a Soviet military attache (Omar Sharif). A tentative romance develops but while the British government frowns on the relationship, the Soviets urge the attache to procure her to their side. Based on the novel by Evelyn Anthony and directed by Blake Edwards, this is a first rate romantic thriller set against the back drop of the Cold War. Edwards is primarily remembered for his comedies like the PINK PANTHER films but he also did a crackerjack thriller EXPERIMENT IN TERROR and TAMARIND does a wonderful job of balancing the love story without sacrificing the tension of two governments attempting to manipulate the relationship to their own ends. Andrews and Sharif work very nicely together, the Barbados location is beautifully shot by Freddie Young (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) and there's a gorgeous John Barry score to accompany it all. There are also solid subplots that keeps the film on its toes and fine work by a bevy of good supporting players including Anthony Quayle, Dan O'Herlihy, Oskar Homolka, Sylvia Syms and  Kate O'Mara.

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