HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night Raiders
Samourai, Le
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  Mackintosh Man, The Newman's Moan
Year: 1973
Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda, James Mason, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Michael Hordern, Nigel Patrick, Peter Vaughan, Roland Culver, Percy Herbert, Robert Lang, Jenny Runacre, John Bindon, Hugh Manning, Wolfe Morris, Noel Purcell, Leo Genn
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rearden (Paul Newman), if that is his name, is in London where he has a position in the British Secret Services, currently using an Australian alias. He is called to the offices of Mackintosh (Harry Andrews) where he is offered his next mission as his boss's secretary Miss Smith (Dominique Sanda) looks on. It is explained to him that diamonds are notable for being so very valuable while also very small: you can contain priceless gems within a package the size of a matchbox, and indeed some send this merchandise through the post. What Rearden has to do is intercept a small package of diamonds before they reach their destination, and get himself arrested as a result - so let's go postman punching!

Director John Huston and star Newman had by all accounts had a fine time making the Western The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean the year before this, but did not it seems team up once again because of that, it was more down to contracts and them each having one film left with Warner Bros, so combining forces on The Mackintosh Man sounded like a good idea. Alas, Huston could barely muster any interest in a spy story after The Kremlin Letter flopped, and later proclaimed it the worst project he had ever taken the helm on, though there were stories from the sets that even called that into question, as if he had simply left his crew to muddle through the production while he took care of his own various pastimes.

Because of this, it is far from the movie in Huston's canon that received the most praise, never mind much of an audience in the long run, and as it was drawn from a Desmond Bagley novel, not an author of thrillers who often troubled the silver screen, there were always going to be fans of his work who judged The Mackintosh Man as a failure when the book was a far more successful way to experience the story. Nevertheless, since its very status as an effort made from the material hailing from that great era of paperback diversions generated at least a little interest from the readership, whether they had read this one or not, this is not quite as forgotten a movie as it might seem at first glance, and not because they had a megastar in the lead, either.

Newman was a particularly curious choice, you would think a Michael Caine or Sean Connery would be more appropriate, someone of that background or calibre, especially as he appeared to be playing a British agent rather than an American one as his accent indicated. He did try an Australian accent, and made an... interesting attempt at it, but apparently a Cockney or even R.P. was beyond him, and we were left to ponder why Mackintosh chose such an obvious foreigner for a very British excursion. You can see why Caine or Connery might not wish to play another secret agent, but Newman and this type of man on the run or at the mercy of the bigger picture thriller was not always an easy match, and he never settled into the role of Rearden, presumably not assisted much by Huston's disinterest.

Also not helping was a plot that may have been easily digested on the page, but as a film was difficult to fathom, on first viewing anyway, with the accustomed ending, where the baddie explains all, not exactly enlightening, as if we were watching an edited version of events or some scenes simply were not filmed. Rearden travelled from prison to Ireland to eventually Malta, but it was the adventure in the middle that proved the most engaging as he is kidnapped by crime boss Michael Hordern (huh?) after escaping jail with spy Ian Bannen, and they end up holed up in a big country house on the Galway moors. There was violence, of course, but it came across as oddly spoofy, since it was Paul Newman whacking Sir Michael about the head, Jenny Runacre booting Mr Newman in the bollocks, and him returning the favour later to boot her in the crotch. Then there was James Mason as the slightly too good to be true politician who may be behind the espionage: he and Sanda had a latterly developing feud that ended just as bizarrely. But as awkward as this was, it did look very slick, and was by no means unenjoyable. Music by Maurice Jarre.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2749 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: