Scripted by Eric Ambler from Geoffrey Household's novel, this curiously pedestrian thriller, set during the Cold War, looks like a throwback to Hitchcock's British period on a very off day. An American army colonel (McCrea), having rented a cottage in Dorset for a spot of shooting on the moors, fires a deterrent charge of buckshot at an intruder he takes to be a poacher. Panicking when the man dies (though not at his hands), McCrea hides the body, and soon finds himself up to his neck in British secret service agents (led by Culver) and a Nazi spy ring (headed by Goring). With credibility already low as plot and characters bumble around like something out of a Boy's Own Paper serial, it sinks even lower as a German plane (landing on rough moorland at night!), brings in a specialist agent (Hurst) to collect information about atomic tests, his rendezvous with the traitor being scheduled (in a chase climax that goes off half-cocked) at Madame Tussaud's. Only Lom, as a perky Polish agent busily swashing an Errol Flynn buckle, brings any enlivening wit to the proceedings.
Cast and crew