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The Holcroft Covenant

This muddled thriller is seemingly aimed at cinemagoers fearful of a fourth Reich. Various scripters have not created a clear narrative line out of Robert Ludlum's complex potboiler novel. Result is a muddled narrative deficient in thrills or plausiblity.

This muddled thriller is seemingly aimed at cinemagoers fearful of a fourth Reich. Various scripters have not created a clear narrative line out of Robert Ludlum’s complex potboiler novel. Result is a muddled narrative deficient in thrills or plausiblity.

Film starts with the revelation to Noel Holcroft (Michael Caine) that his father, the financial wizard who kept Hitler’s plans afloat, left a bequest valued at over $4 billion with which the son is to make amends for the evils of Hitler’s Germany. His mother (Lilli Palmer) suspects that the money is designated for the building of a new Nazi empire.

Argument is supported by various deaths that happen around Holcroft. The character doesn’t attempt to discover what is going on and his attractive escort Helden von Tiebolt (Victoria Tennant) has to keep on reminding him that their lives are in danger.

Caine, whose reputation was built acting wily Britishers in local thrillers, just doesn’t convince as a naive New Yorker. (James Caan was originally to play the role.) Victoria Tennant plays her part of femme fatale as if she doesn’t know which side she’s on.

The Holcroft Covenant

UK

  • Production: Thorn EMI. Dir John Frankenheimer; Producer Edie Landau, Ely Landau; Screenplay George Axelrod, Edward Anhalt, John Hopkins; Camera Gerry Fisher; Editor Ralph Sheldon; Music Stanislas Art Dir Peter Mullins
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1985. Running time: 112 MIN.
  • With: Michael Caine Anthony Andrews Victoria Tennant Lilli Palmer Mario Adorf Michael Lonsdale