Following the deaths of two top Allied agents, the unorthodox Quiller (George Segal), who lives by his wits and on his nerves, is tasked to unmask a neo-Nazi organisation operating somewhere inside Berlin. Sentenced to death by the menacing Oktober (Max von Sydow), Reichsfuhrer of the new Nazis, he finds himself on the run and trapped in a web of intrigue, lies and deceit…
To this compelling 1960s espionage thriller, directed by Michael Anderson in the former West Berlin, celebrated playwright Harold Pinter (adapting the 1965 Adam Hall/Elleston Trevor novel) cleverly gave his characters identities of their own by the use of mocking and menacing words. This and John Barry’s hauntingly atmospheric score helps to raise the already tense proceedings to a high level of suspense.
Alec Guinness as spy boss Pol gets all of Pinter’s most sardonic lines, while George Segal gives a bravura turn as the dogged Quiller battling von Sydow’s aristocratic neo-Nazi. The impressive supporting cast includes George Sanders and Robert Flemyng as Quiller’s gentlemen’s club-residing superiors, while Austrian actress Senta Berger provides the contintental glamour. Matt Manro, who’d scored hits with Born Free and From Russia With Love, sings the theme tune, Wednesday’s Child.
THE UK BLU-RAY RELEASE
The Network Distributing Blu-ray release, part of The British Film collection, features the film in a high definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.