In 1930's Cuba, a bank clerk and an American mercenary assist a revolutionary group in a plan to kill the President but the Cuban Secret Police chief and the dictator's military complicate the plan's execution.
A network of older spies from the West recruits a young intelligence officer with a photographic memory to accompany them on a mission inside Russia. They must recover a letter written by the CIA that promises American assistance to Russia if China gets the atomic bomb.Written by
The icebreaker drops them off in the frozen Kara Sea. Later Colonel Kosnov says, "Goddamn fools! Trying to come in through Vorkuta." Vorkuta is over 100 miles inland from the Kara Sea. See more »
[while knitting... ]
Rudolph says he's in love with me. He claims that I'm the only one he's been in love with since Polakov, and talking about their affair makes him weep. He wants me to leave the professor and move in with him. I told him it wouldn't be wise to break off so suddenly but that I would find a way soon. I'm knitting these bed socks for him.
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John Huston made many great movies, but I think that he failed more often than he succeeded ("Annie" is the worst, but Huston also killed "Red Badge of Courage" and "Moby Dick" on the screen). "The Kremlin Letter" has a cast of Bergman stars (Bibbi Andersson and Max von Sydow) and an international cast of actors who were good elsewhere (Lila Kedrova is the biggest disappointment to me, but she is joined by Dean Jagger, Ralf Vallone, Orson Welles, et al.) but drained of emotion here or given no character with which to work. Patrick O'Neal lacked the charisma to carry a movie or to make the audience care what happened to him. Richard Boone makes an impression as the bullying mentor, and George Sanders amidst stereotypical homosexual circles, and von Sydow was a master of coldness, but everyone else seems stranded (as in lacking direction!)
The movie has a very complicated plot (or set of plots), an international cast, some kinky sex, lots of brutality, drugs (but no rock'n roll), no visual merits and exceptionally poorly recorded sound for what must have been a big-budget production in the heyday of Cold War spy films. "Beat the Devil" and "The List of Adrian Messenger" are more entertaining Huston movies of international intrigue, but better still are Huston's films of intranational intrigue such as "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Asphalt Jungle."
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