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Friday, June 1, 2012

Assault On A Queen (1966)


An odd assortment of characters: a diver (Frank Sinatra) and his partner (Errol John), an engine expert (Richard Conte), an ex-Nazi (Alf Kjellin, Minnelli's MADAME BOVARY), an Italian beauty (Virna Lisi) and her quick tempered boyfriend (Anthony Franciosa) all band together in an incredible plot to heist the Queen Mary. They hatch the plot when they discover a sunken German submarine off the Florida coast and repair it and use it to sneak up on the luxury liner and passing themselves off as a British submarine, rob the ship. While in theory, the preposterous plot is possible, the film still requires a suspension of belief to fully enjoy it. And enjoyable it is. A solid screenplay by TWILIGHT ZONE's Rod Serling based on the novel by Jack Finney (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS) lends credence to the far fetched plot and the acting is decent though poor Lisi doesn't have much to do as "the girl". The direction by Jack Donohue is lackluster but the actual heist sequence is very well done, providing the requisite nail biting tension. The underscore by Duke Ellington is spotty. As music, it's wonderful but as an underscore, it's often inappropriate. With Murray Matheson, Reginald Denny, Val Avery and Barbara Morrison.

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