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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Caboblanco (1980)

Set in a small coastal village in 1948 Peru, a mysterious Frenchwoman (Dominique Sanda) steps off a bus and goes to a hotel run by an American (Charles Bronson) who has some information she wants. But that information is also wanted by an ex-Nazi (Jason Robards) hiding in plain sight in a plush villa on a cliff. Directed by J. Lee Thompson (GUNS OF NAVARONE), the film has higher ambitions than it can deliver. It's attempting a CASABLANCA vibe but Bronson and Sanda are no Bogart and Bergman. What we get is a fairly entertaining if routine action/adventure movie with a weak romance at its center that stumbles to a lame conclusion. Sanda seems stymied by dealing with the English language and if I hadn't seen her in her French and Italian films, I'd assume she was an untalented model hired for her looks. The story behind the making of the film (a classic Hollywood tale of wheeling and dealing, betrayal, greed, chutzpah and luck, both good and bad) is far more interesting than anything we see on the screen. The wonderful Jerry Goldsmith score elevates the film. With Fernando Rey, Gilbert Roland, Simon McCorkindale, James Booth, Denny Miller and Camilla Sparv as an aging party girl, who surprisingly gives the film's best performance.

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