British film-maker Karel Reisz for his second American film has come up with a corking couple-on-the-run adventure pic, given depth in its focus on the personal disarray, the growing governmental corruption and the effects of that most unpopular, divisive Vietnam war on America.
Michael Moriarty, a journalist and photog during the Vietnam War, suffers a trauma under a deadly enemy barrage and the mayhem around him. He decides to try to smuggle heroin to the US.
Moriarty brings in an old Marine buddy (Nick Nolte), who is now in the Merchant Marine. Nolte is to get in touch with Moriarty’s wife (Tuesday Weld) and wait for him, Moriarty, to get back. But back in the US Nolte is followed. He and Weld go on the lam after sending Weld’s little girl off to relatives for safekeeping.
Based on a bestseller by Robert Stone, film has a hardnose progression and solidity in its characterizations. Nolte earns his star stripes here, displaying presence and perceptiveness in socking home his character, while Weld and Moriarty are also effective.