HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  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 2268 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: