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Monday, August 4, 2008


John Huston trims this espionage/sting operation thriller to the bone in a classy attempt to add a bit of flavorful abstraction to its well trod tropes. Paul Newman, with a come-and-go Aussie accent, plays an undercover agent who goes to jail (and breaks out) in order to expose a network of bad guys. There’s real pleasure in just sitting back and reveling in the sheer professionalism of everyone involved. Huston and lenser Oswald Morris make magic with the Irish landscape in the sixth of their seven collaborations and there’s a fine cast of eccentric Brits on display (James Mason, Ian Bannen, Michael Hordern, Harry Andrews, et al.). Plus, loads of fun in trying to untangle Dominique Sanda’s English. But it sure don’t add up to much, new or otherwise.

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