Review: ‘Where the Spies Are’

David Niven stars as a mild-mannered English doctor pressed into Middle East espionage. The production carries suspense, after a slow and talky start, and action, even if a bit on the contrived side, is fast-paced once story gets underway. Locale is Beirut where troupe locationed to come up with interesting authenticity of background.

David Niven stars as a mild-mannered English doctor pressed into Middle East espionage. The production carries suspense, after a slow and talky start, and action, even if a bit on the contrived side, is fast-paced once story gets underway. Locale is Beirut where troupe locationed to come up with interesting authenticity of background.

Based on James Leasor’s thriller, Passport to Oblivion, Guest, who also directs and collabed with Wolf Mankowitz on script, concentrates on the dangers confronting a secret agent. Niven, who once figured in some fancy undercover work for British Intelligence, is sent to Lebanon to try to learn what urgent information the agent there had uncovered before he was bumped off by the Russians.

Niven delivers one of his customary competent performances, stuffy at times but able to cope with the melodramatic demands of the character. Teaming with Niven as a French mam’selle playing both sides as a secret agent and supposedly his contact is Francoise Dorleac, lushly effective.

Where the Spies Are

UK

Production

M-G-M. Director Val Guest; Producer Val Guest, Steven Pallos; Screenplay Wolf Mankowitz, Val Guest; Camera Arthur Grant; Editor Bill Lenny; Music Mario Nascimbene; Art Director John Howell

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 113 MIN.

With

David Niven Francoise Dorleac Cyril Cusack John Le Mesurier Nigel Davenport Eric Pohlmann
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