An aging actress named Irina Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin and her son Konstantin on a country estate. On one occasion, she brings Trigorin, a ... See full summary »
After Charles Dobbs, a security officer, has a friendly chat with Samuel Fennan from the Foreign Office, the man commits suicide. An anonymous typed letter had been received accusing Fennan of being a Communist during his days at Oxford and their chat while walking in the park was quite amiable. Senior officials want the whole thing swept under the rug and are pleased to leave it as a suicide. Dobbs isn't at all sure as there are a number of anomalies that simply can't be explained away. Dobbs is also having trouble at home with his errant wife, whom he very much loves, having frequent affairs. He's also pleased to see an old friend, Dieter Frey, who he recruited after the war. With the assistance of a colleague and a retired policeman, Dobbs tries to piece together just who is the spy and who in fact assassinated Fennan.Written by
As with all 1960's films, time hasn't been kind to this clever slant on the cold-war theme. However, one can imagine that at the time of its release, the film's stylish direction, cool bossa nova soundtrack and unusual filming technique was very "in vogue". Unfortunately, the then unrelenting interest in James Bond and Harry Palmer has meant that The Deadly Affair is one of these little known, understated thrillers that are shown late at night on satellite TV. The film's gloominess is intentional - the film having been deliberately exposed briefly to make the colour appear dull. You could say that this reflects the frustration and despondence of the main character, Dobbs. James Mason, who always seems to be cast as the down-trodden tragi-hero, plays Dobbs with consummate ease. He is supported by a long list of familiar faces including Harry Andrews as an unassuming retired policemen. The best part of the film for me is when Fannen is tailed by Mendel during a lengthy chase on foot through London. An elongated version of Quincy Jones' theme tune provides the right level of excitement to what would initially be quite a staid scene.
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