Foreign Intrigue (1956)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

USA, 1956. , . Screenplay by Sheldon Reynolds, based on an original treatment by Sheldon Reynolds, , . Cinematography by . Produced by Sheldon Reynolds. Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by .

Sheldon Reynolds adapts his early fifties television series to a feature film and, in the process, creates one of the most boring spy thrillers you’ll chance to see. is terrific as a writer and press agent who has been working for a Riviera millionaire but, when the film opens, comes home to find his employer dead of a heart attack.

Mitchum is contacted by a lawyer in Vienna about a sealed document belonging to the deceased that he would like to share with him, but by the time he reaches that city, his appointment is abruptly pre-empted by the fact that his contact has been killed and he must get out of there before being accused of his murder.

Following a lead to Stockholm, Mitchum investigates his employer’s connection with a Swedish industrialist but finds that the man has passed and his wife and daughter (a very young , here billed as Ingrid Tulean) are helpful but clueless as to what their own departed relative had to do with the deceased man of mystery.

Part of what even goads Mitchum on this journey is to find out information about his boss, whose past was as obscure as the source of his wealth, while hindering him is the constant interference of the man’s morally dubious widow () who has secrets of her own.

The end result has a few clever twists that, unsurprising for a post-war thriller, lead back to connections with Nazis in wartime, but the film’s origins as a television series shows in its plot’s unveiling through a dull succession of drawing room conversations, and it ends up as something wholly dissatisfying and forgettable.

Mitchum is stalwart and surrounded by game and ready European actors, but the ending isn’t satisfying after a great deal of tedium endured to get there.

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