Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Night of the Assassin (1970)

Director: Adriano Bolzoni

Starring: Michael Craig, Eva Renzi, Adolfo Celi, George Sanders & KLAUS KINSKI!

More Info: IMDB

Plot: The British occupy Greece. Col. Stephen Mallory (Craig) wants to bring a cease fire to the region on the eve of a visit from a high-ranking British officer. The problem is the leader of the Greek resistance, Hermes (Celi), has been operating in a secret location but no one seems know where. Mallory soon finds a way to make contact for a face-to-face talk to bring an end to the violence. Hermes agrees with Mallory but there's a hitch; Evagoras (Kinski), a mad and sadistic Greek priest, has secretly garnered support to continue to oppose the British and will stop at nothing to prevent the cease fire and to murder the soon-to-visit officer.

My Rating: 5.5/10

Would I watch it again? It's another one of those "if a great looking widescreen print surfaced" kind of thing.

#21 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

The plot synopsis sums it up with the exception of a love story thrown into the mix. Not that that's a bad thing. It's handled alright and it's just sentimental enough where you get the idea they could (and do) fall in love and it's not just an officer-sleeping-with-the-enemy thing.

The performances are good, especially from Craig. Great job. I'm sure I've seen him in something. DAMN! The guy's 82 and still working in movies! Looking through his credits, I've seen a couple of films but nothing I remembered him from. Oh, well. Celi is great, too. Recognize his name? You should. He played the Bond villain, Emilio Largo, in THUNDERBALL (1965).

Kinski...what to say about Kinski...well, he's easily one of the strangest actors in the past fifty years. He tended to play bad guys. I'm sure that crazy mug he was sportin' had something to do with it. An off-the-charts nuts-o actor, Kinski was just right for a lot of parts. In TNotA he's his typical sinister self. It's often tough to tell how good a performance is when you're watching a dub. Not hearing the actor's own voice can change everything sometimes. Nothing new from Kinski in this one if you've seen him in this type of role before.

The great George Sanders has a few scenes as Mallory's superior, General Downes (snicker, tee hee hee). He's fun as always. Good casting all around, I'd say.

The story is fine for what it is, if even being better than average, but this is nothing more than a standard thriller with some action tossed in. Sadly, there's no Euro cleavage, but that's OK. When you sit there wondering when this is going to end (the last half hour picks up and the suspense and action are full-on until the finish), sometimes you just need a little something extra to hold your interest. A little spice would have helped.

Getting closer...

We're living in a world where more and more films are seeing the light of day. Granted, this will never see a proper DVD release but it is out there in the form of a watchable VHS rip. Ideally I would prefer to watch all of these films in their original scope in a theater, the way they were intended. But until that can happen, I'll have to settle. Under proper viewing conditions, I'm sure this is a better film but with all that was going against it, I couldn't find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment