Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Overlooked Movies -- The Assassination Bureau

Once upon a time Jack London started writing a book based on an idea he'd bought from Sinclair Lewis. London couldn't finish the book, so he put it aside. Many years later it was completed by Robert L. Fish, and then it was made into a movie. A pretty entertaining one, too.

The Assassination Bureau was founded by the father of Ivan Dragomiloff (Oliver Reed) to rid the world of people the world needed to be rid of. You know the sort, tyrants and such. Now the Bureau's lost sight of its lofty beginnings and become pretty much just a murder-for-hire business. So Sonia Winter (Diana Rigg) hires Dragomiloff to assassinate himself. He accepts. (See the clip embedded below.) But while he does think it would be a fine idea to but an end to the Bureau, he doesn't really plan to have himself killed. Instead, he issues a challenge to the employees: Kill me before I kill you. And we're off on a rop around Europe as Dragomiloff, with Winter along, too, of course, begins to wipe out the members of the Bureau.

There's lots of great scenery, a good bit of suspense, lots of clever stuff, and a big ending with a zeppelin. It's all a lot of fun if you're in the right mood. Check it out.

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  1. I don't think I have seen this but it sounds great.

  2. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Great movie. I need to own it. Thanks for reminding us of it.


  3. Love this movie from the first time I saw it on the "ABC 4:30 Movie" back in my teen days. Tongue in cheek humor from two greats - Rigg & Reed. Would love to watch it again sometime this year.

  4. I love this movie, though I haven't seen it in yonks. I'm a sucker for Reed and Rigg is always a delight. Not great but great fun.

  5. This was one of the first movies I rented when I got Netflix as part of my Victorian/Edwardian fixation. A fun romp and with Telly Savalas too!

  6. Richard West3:18 PM

    I second everyone's comments: a delightful romp. Reed and Rigg make a wonderful team. I would also applaud the performance by Telly Savalas as their main opponent.

  7. Anonymous5:53 PM

    And great poster art by Robert McGinnis. Rigg was born to be a McGinnis Girl.
    Art Scott

  8. I loved this movie. Diana Rigg at her loveliest and arguably her sexiest, Oliver Reed when he was a young leading man in some first rate British movies, and Telly Savalas at a point when if he played a cop he was probably on the take. Probably the only things to survive from London's book were some - but hardly all - of the character names. And it doesn't matter because it is such a great example of late '60s excess.