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The Wilby Conspiracy

The Wilby Conspiracy [from Peter Driscoll's novel] is a good action melodrama about apartheid in South Africa. It was made in Kenya. The stars Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine are relentlessly stalked by Nicol Williamson, superb as a coldly dedicated and brutal policeman out after racial agitators.

The Wilby Conspiracy [from Peter Driscoll’s novel] is a good action melodrama about apartheid in South Africa. It was made in Kenya. The stars Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine are relentlessly stalked by Nicol Williamson, superb as a coldly dedicated and brutal policeman out after racial agitators.

Poitier is linked by fate with Caine, an Englishman accidently enmeshed in South African segregation discrimination through his girl (Prunella Gee) who as Poitier’s lawyer has him Freed from a decade in prison for racial agitation.

Williamson, almost too chillingly realistic as a bigot, permits the two to escape an early police confrontation, so as to let Poitier lead him to Joseph De Fraf, the title character and a political guerrilla partner to Poitier. En route to the good climax, one encounters Persis Khambatta, a most attractive Indian actress, and Rutger Hauer, Gee’s playboy-type husband.

But somehow the story comes out too much of a potboiler undeserving of the fine work that Williamson, Caine and Poitier put into it.

The Wilby Conspiracy

UK

  • Production: United Artists. Director Ralph Nelson; Producer Martin Baum; Screenplay Rod Amateau, Harold Nebenzal; Camera John Coquillon; Editor Ernest Walter; Music Stanley Myers; Art Director Harold Pottle
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1975. Running time: 101 MIN.
  • With: Sidney Poitier Michael Caine Nicol Williamson Prunella Gee Persis Khambatta Saeed Jaffrey
  • Music By: