Michael Relph and Basil Dearden have had themselves a ball with Masquerade, for once forgetting the sociological themes which they often blend with their dramas, and turning out a clever, tongue-in-cheek spoof of the cloak-and-dagger yarns.
Relph and William Goldman have jettisoned much of the earnestness of the Victor Canning novel, Castle Minerva, retaining mainly the plotline and characters.
The story involves kidnapping, disguised identity, macabre doings in a travelling circus, a mysterious Spanish girl and escape from an eerie castle.
The British Foreign Office hires Jack Hawkins and Cliff Robertson for a daring mission. Hawkins is an ex-war colonel and hero. In this film, he obviously relishes being able to spoof the sort of stiff upper lip roles that so often he has to play seriously. Robertson is an American soldier of fortune who is down on his luck. Their job is to abduct the young heir to the throne of a Near East state and keep him under wraps for a few weeks until he comes of age and is able to sign a favourable oil concession to Britain.