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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Windmills Of The Gods (1988)

A professor (Jaclyn Smith) at Kansas State University turns down a personal request from the U.S. President (Michael Moriarty) to become the U.S. ambassador to Romania. But when her husband (David Ackroyd) dies under mysterious circumstances, she accepts the President's offer. But she is not prepared for the political intrigue and conspiracies that comes with the job and just who can she trust? Directed by Lee Philips and based on the novel by Sidney Sheldon. From the mid 1970s through the 1980s, Sheldon's potboilers were staples on the best sellers lists and fodder for big screen films, TV movies and mini series. Not having read the original book, I suspect WINDMILLS probably reads better than it plays out as a movie. It's the kind of obvious movie that when early on in the film, a character makes a big deal about a skylight you just know that somehow that skylight is going to be very important later on. To the film's credit, it cleverly toys with ambivalent characters that keep you guessing as to their loyalties, suspicious one moment, then cleared, then under a cloud again. Like Sheldon's novels, it's trash but you know that going in and wallow away anyway. With Robert Wagner, Ian McKellen, Franco Nero, Betsy Palmer, Ruby Dee,  Jean Pierre Aumont (whose part seems to have ended up on the cutting room floor), Christopher Cazenove, J.T. Walsh and in a scene stealing performance, Susan Tyrrell. 

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