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Monday, November 28, 2016

Man In The Middle (1963)

Set in WWII India, an American Army Lieutenant (Keenan Wynn) walks up to a British Sergeant (Bill Mitchell) and shoots him dead. A Lieutenant Colonel (Robert Mitchum) with some law experience is assigned to defend him. But as he tries to build a defense that his client is mentally unstable, he finds stumbling blocks put in his way from the military brass until he realizes they want to see his client hanged. Based on the novel THE WINSTON AFFAIR by Howard Fast (SPARTACUS) and directed by Guy Hamilton (GOLDFINGER). A potentially interesting script gets a rather routine execution in the hands of director Hamilton. The film never rises above a solid television movie. It might have helped if the conventional romance, Mitchum and an Army nurse played by France Nuyen, had been cut down or even eliminated altogether. What remains is a decent military courtroom thriller where justice finds itself sacrificed to expediency. The brief underscore is by John Barry. With Trevor Howard, Barry Sullivan, Sam Wanamaker and Alexander Knox.  

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