Monday, 19 September 2011

Indifferent Intrigues

Charles Bronson and Lee Remick are KGB agents entrusted with saving the world in Telefon, a 70's thriller from Don Siegel. Pesky wig wearing Donald Pleasance is roaming Murica activating hypnotised suicide agents forgotten in the days of detente and Bronson is flown in to hunt him down. It rolls along at a reasonable pace with bombs popping off every 20mins or so but never really gripped me and most of the cast float along in the wake of the big budget action sequences. Still with Schiffrin, Siegel and Silliphant involved this is at least above par action nonsense.

Stanley Donen tries to emulate his own Charade formula of bantering intrigue with Peck and Loren in Arabeseque a light, frothy caper about assassins and cyphers. Aging Peck stars as an academic don tasked with translating a Hittite inscription by friend and foe alike but is soon beguiled by the luminous, deceitful Loren and caught in a web of shifting allegiances. The script is dry and sharp but the action weak and offers no weight or tension to balance against the fluff. Charming if vacuous but decent enough for a Sunday afternoon.

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