Despite the equal star billing, this is not another comic two-hander following up House Calls in pitting the misanthropic slobbishness of Matthau against the elegant bitchery of Jackson. Really it's a solo vehicle for Matthau as a CIA operative who, disciplined by demotion to a desk job, takes his revenge through an elaborate practical joke: mysteriously disappearing, he starts mailing - with the order soon out that he has got to be stopped - chapter by chapter instalments of his memoirs (with the promise of revelations to come) to intelligence agencies in the world's capitals. Less weakly scripted and directed, less reliant on globetrotting locations and technological hardware, it could have become a worthy successor to Charley Varrick; as it is, Matthau just about carries it. But only just.
Cast and crew
Bryan Forbes, Brian Garfield