George Peppard is in breezy vigorous form as rescuer of a lady in distress in a thriller that has quite a measure of excitement and style, though the screenplay, based on Stanley Ellins' novel, has plenty of straggly ends. However, there are elements of a Hitchcockian thriller.

George Peppard is in breezy vigorous form as rescuer of a lady in distress in a thriller that has quite a measure of excitement and style, though the screenplay, based on Stanley Ellins’ novel, has plenty of straggly ends. However, there are elements of a Hitchcockian thriller.

Story has Peppard as a Yank drifter in France who falls into the job of tutor to the young son of the widow of a French general killed in the Algerian war. He’s installed in the de Villemont mansion and meets the curious and sinister de Villemont family.

Peppard offers a nice combo of exuberant cheek and muscle and Inger Stevens as the young widow keeps the romantic angle dangling tantalizingly. Orson Welles is not over used, but his flamboyance fits the role of a menacing conspirator effectively, and Keith Michell is suavely sinister.

Director John Guillermin makes the most of highspots but often cannot get the conversational and plot-laying bits off the ground.

House of Cards

Production

Universal. Dir John Guillermin; Producer Dick Berg; Screenplay James P. Bonner; Camera Alberto Pizzi; Editor Terry Williams; Music Francis Lai Art Dir Aurelio Crugnola

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

George Peppard Inger Stevens Orson Welles Keith Michell William Job Maxine Audley
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