Pietro Innocenzi, Umberto Innocenzi (executive) for Dania Film, Globe Films, National Cinematografica, Surf Film
directed by Sergio Martino
starring Jason Connery, Francesco Quinn, Jinny Steffan, Manfred Lehmann, Jean Sorel, Donald Pleasence, Glenn Ford, Luisa Maneri, Horst Schön, David Brandon, John Evans, Marina Viro, Giulia Urso, Giovanni Tamberi, Augusto Poderosi, Phillip Vye, Todd Carter, Claire Seelinger, Omar Chenbod, J.R.M. Chapman, J. Pierre Chevalier, Stella Vizzazi, Sabah Chahid, Zakaria El Hammadi, Khadiya Hadda, Khalid Nekmouche, Bouchaid Ben Chefii, Dennis, Michael Vargas, Robert Chavagnac, Guillaume De Casenove, Malayrand J.Pierre, Christan Chamalaud
story by Roberto Leoni, screenplay by Roberto Leoni, Ernesto Gastaldi, Sergio Martino, music by Luigi Ceccarelli, special effects by Paolo Ricci
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Africa, 1942 (during World War II, so to speak): Winston Churchill
(John Evans) has to be shipped right through the continent to Casablanca,
but somehow the Axis forces have learned of this and of course will stop
at nothing to assassinate him ... so the Allied generals decide to send
him through Africa via train (!), despite the fact that all of the train's
route is still a battlefield.
Major Valmore (Jean Sorel) is to supervise
the operation from Allied HQ, agents Franchetti (Francesco Cooper) and
Lorna (Jinny Steffan) work as undercover spies on Churchill's train, and
Cooper (Jason Connery) is to do some on-the-ground-intelligence work ...
but he soon finds out that Valmore is a traitor - but is held at
headquarters on murder charges produced by Valmore.
German spy Otto von Tiblis (Manfred Lehmann) has made his way onto
Churchill's train and is trying to sabotage it every which way he can, and
German paratroopers attack the train. It's only when all seems lost that
Cooper is cleared of the murder charges and Valmore is arrested ... but
Cooper manages to catch up with the train anyways, where he fights off the
paratroopers. But by then, von Tiblis has taken control of the engine and
wants to pilot the train right into another German ambush - but Cooper
manages to uncouple the waggons from the engine just in time and only von
Tiblis falls prey to his own sabotage.
In the end, the Allied army
finally arrives to clear up the mess.
And Churchill ?
He took the
plane after all (clever choice), the train was only a decoy carrying his double.
Pleasence and Glenn Ford are rather wasted as Allied officers who sit
around in headquarters and get rather little to do safe from some
The events depicted in this film are entirely
fictional, have pretty much nothing to do with actual history - which
makes the film kind of endearing - in my view at least. The film as such
though is rather lame, an underbudgeted period piece full of tired
actionscenes and overused plottwists - and Jason son of Sean Connery and
Francesco son of Anthony Quinn lack charisma to really carry the film.
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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