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Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Executioner (1970)

After a disastrous covert operation in Vienna, a British agent (George Peppard) suspects a security leak at the very top. To this end, he does his own investigation by using his girlfriend (Judy Geeson) to procure top secret documents. The evidence points to a colleague (Keith Michell), the husband of his ex lover (Joan Collins), as being a double agent and Peppard sets out to unmask him but things aren't always what they seem. Directed by actor turned director Sam Wanamaker, this is, for the most part, a fairly taut if overlong spy thriller that bounces from Vienna to Istanbul to Greece. There's even a nice twist toward the end which reveals cracks in our hero's flawed personality but, alas, the final scene in the film negates it as if the film makers feared we would withhold our sympathy. Peppard gives a rather chilly performance which appears to be the actor rather than the character but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. It's not particularly memorable but it's a pleasant time waster. The noisy, mediocre score is by Ron Goodwin and the wide screen Panavision cinematography by Denys Coop (BILLY LIAR). With Oscar Homolka, Charles Gray, Alexander Scourby and George Baker.

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