Another disaster film? Not exactly, even if at the end a London cathedral caves in, with many victims trapped underneath the rubble but with the Queen of England saved in the nick of time. These scenes, realistically treated and technically good, are among the highlights of this lavishly-produced film [from the novel by Peter Van Greenaway].
John Morlar (Richard Burton) is attacked by an unknown intruder who bashes in his skull. Why? The man didn’t seem to have a single enemy. Inspector Brunel is puzzled. Why a French detective instead of British? Apparently due to French financial participation in this film. In any case, it allows Lino Ventura to make his British film debut and very good he is.
Brunel finally discovers a clue leading to a psychiatrist played by Lee Remick. She had treated Morlar for reasons not stated at once.
It turns out that Morlar is not dead at all. His mind is fighting a desperate battle to survive. Even as a child, Morlar proved a very odd number indeed. His files relate to a vast series of disasters and apparently unsolved mysteries.
Director Jack Gold controls all the angles of this improbable story. Burton has some very effective moments too as does Remick.