Preminger's wordy, sprawling, but mostly involving, movie exploits Middle East tensions with a plot about the search for five rich girls kidnapped by the Palestinian Liberation Army in an effort to bring the Arab cause to international attention. But in a world of irreconcilable differences of opinion, governments too prove capable of using terrorist tactics to their own ends. Preminger handles the dramatic exposition with a curious mixture of panache and risible heavy-handedness, making it look increasingly like a Frederick Forsyth thriller, an imbalance that O'Toole's 'star' performance does little to correct. With the English O'Toole tracking down a fellow countryman, the eccentric mastermind Sloat (Attenborough) - and the former's government agent ethics perhaps more dubious than the latter's - the film engagingly if irrelevantly suggests that Perfidious Albion is still capable of pulling a few strings in world power games. Doubtless, like most Preminger, it'll improve with age.
Cast and crew
Erik Lee Preminger
Peter O'Toole Richard Attenborough Cliff Gorman Claude Dauphin John V Lindsay Peter Lawford Raf Vallone Adrienne Corri Amidou Isabelle Huppert Kim Cattrall Françoise Brion