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.