John Frankenheimer’s 1965 World War II film is a admirable attempt to fuse the action genre with art-house drama ala The Wages of Fear. Thanks to Frankenheimer’s clean craftsmanship and star Burt Lancaster’s ambivalent performance – part rough and tumble leading man, part existential anti-hero – the movie succeeds on most counts. Burt is a resistance leader trying to retrieve a shipment of precious art from a da Vinci-loving Nazi played by Paul Scofield while New Wave icon Jeanne Moreau is on hand to abet Lancaster’s quest.
About Brian Trenchard-Smith
Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.