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The Salzburg Connection (1972)

A list of agents and collaborators, hidden by the Nazis in an Austrian lake in 1945, is sought after by various interested parties during the Cold War.

Director:

Lee H. Katzin

Writers:

Oscar Millard (screenplay), Helen MacInnes (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Newman ... Bill Mathison
Anna Karina ... Anna Bryant
Klaus Maria Brandauer ... Johann Kronsteiner (as Klaus-Maria Brandauer)
Karen Jensen ... Elissa Lang
Joe Maross ... Chuck
Wolfgang Preiss ... Felix Zauner
Helmut Schmid ... Grell
Udo Kier ... Anton
Mischa Hausserman Mischa Hausserman ... Lev Benedescu (as Michael Haussermann)
Whit Bissell ... Jim Newhart
Raoul Retzer Raoul Retzer ... Large Man
Elisabeth Felchner Elisabeth Felchner ... Trudi Seidl
Bert Fortell Bert Fortell ... Rugged Man
Adolf Beinl Adolf Beinl ... Anton's Companion (as Alf Beinell)
Patrick Jordan ... Richard Bryant
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Storyline

An American lawyer on vacation in Europe is asked by a book publisher to stop by the Austrian town of Salzburg to see a photographer who's taking pictures for a book on picturesque Austrian lakes. Upon his arrival he senses that something is wrong when the photographer seems to have vanished, leaving a near panic-stricken wife and a sinister, secretive brother. Before he knows it, the lawyer finds himself mixed up with spies, assassins, and the hunt for a list made up by the Nazis during World War II of people who collaborated with them. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The best-selling novel becomes a spectacular spy-thriller! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1972 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Salzburg Connection See more »

Filming Locations:

Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,950,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second major film from 20th Century- Fox to have a setting in Salzburg, Austria. The first was The Sound of Music (1965). See more »

Quotes

Bill Mathison: And that's what's put a bug up the international spy network's ass - a box of soggy records, twenty five or thirty years out of date? You've got to be kidding!
Chuck: Four dead bodies is not kidding, old buddy.
Bill Mathison: Hey. look, I can see a few warmed-over Nazis getting steamed up, I can see the Israelis sending out their war criminals but what the hell is our government interested in this for?
Chuck: Put your legal mind into gear, Bill. Forget the Nazi revivals, forget war criminals; think how many former German ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Convoluted espionage thriller with little to make it stick in the memory.
7 April 2005 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

The Salzburg Connection is based on a novel by Helen MacInnes, and is a rather unoriginal spy thriller with the usual ingredients that characterise practically all early '70s movies within the genre: a convoluted plot, double-crosses, triple-crosses, characters with secrets, and attractive European settings. Barry Newman is actually rather good in the leading role, and is nicely supported by the gorgeous Anna Karina.

American lawyer William Mathison (Barry Newman) is vacationing in Switzerland when he is asked by an American publishing firm to go to Salzburg, Austria, to contact a photographer who has written a book about Austrian lakes. Mathison immediately realises that something is amiss when he reaches the photographer's small Salzburg shop and finds the photographer missing, and his anxious wife Anna Bryant (Anna Karina) being protected with near-claustrophobic zeal by her brother Johann (Klaus Maria Brandeur). Johann initially suspects that Mathison is a secret agent and refuses to give him any information. Gradually, though, Mathison realises that Anna's husband has been murdered, having found a chest in an Austrian lake containing a list of Nazi collaborators from WWII. Agents from all over the world, including Russia, Israel, Germany, Austria and America, want to get hold of the chest. Mathison finds himself playing a delicate game of cat-and-mouse, in which he can trust virtually no-one, such as KGB sex-pot Elisa Lang (Karen Jensen) who attempts to seduce him by posing as a free-wheeling American tourist, and elderly Austrian Felix Zauner (Wolfgang Preiss), whose name is on the list because he collaborated with the Nazis during the war in order to save the life of his wife.

The film could've been pretty good, but it misses rather too many opportunities. Newman and Karina, as I've already said, are quite good, and Jensen as the KGB lady-spy also registers well. Furthermore, the locations are pleasing to the eye. But other than these scant positives, the film is a somewhat poor affair. Lee H. Katzin directs sloppily, far too frequently punctuating his movie with gimmicky editing techniques such as meaningless freeze-frames and unnecessary slow motion sequences. Katzin also ruins several key scenes by failing to make it clear quite what's going on (e.g. the finale, in which Newman and Preiss approach an abandoned gunnery post on a mountainside, is terribly rushed and seems to make little sense). At a mere 93 minutes, the film tries to cram in a heck of a lot of plotting and counter-plotting, yet too many of the characters are so hurriedly introduced that it's hard to remember who they are or what agency they work for. One scene that I DID like, however, involved Karina being kidnapped by spies and whisked away in their car. Newman - a veteran of earlier car chase movies - takes a shortcut in his own car and manages to get in front of the baddies. In a clever twist on the traditional concept of a car chase, he slows down their getaway by driving so SLOWLY that the police eventually turn up to find out who's holding up the traffic! A rare ingenious moment in an otherwise dull potboiler.


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