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ACTION OF THE TIGER (director: Terence Young; screenwriters: from the novel by James Wellard/Robert Carson; cinematographer: Desmond Dickinson; editor: Rank Clarke; music: Humphrey Searle; cast: Van Johnson (Carson), Martine Carol (Tracy Malvoisie), Sean Connery (Mike), Jose Nieto (Kol Stendho), Herbert Lom (Trifon, Albania Bandit), Gustavo Rocco (Henri Malvoisie), Yvonne Warren (Katina), Helen Haye (Countess Valona), Anthony Dawson (Security Officer), Anna Gerber (Mara Valona); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Kenneth Harper; MGM; 1957-UK)
“The direction was lousy and the film was crap.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

It’s a B-film based on the novel by James Wellard, and is written by Robert Carson. Director Terence Young(“Dr. No”/”Mayerling”/”The Jigsaw Man”), to get an exotic setting, filmed it in Spain, and afterwards proclaimed the direction was lousy and the film was crap. I agree, and can only add that Van Johnson makes for a weak leading romantic man. Pic is only interesting because Sean Connery, before hitting stardom five years later in Dr. No, had a small part as a scruffy first-mate and hulking romantic rival to Van Johnson.

In Athens, wealthy French heiress Tracy Mallambert (Martine Carol, French actress) hires the unscrupulous adventurous soldier of fortune, the American captain of a speed boat, Carson (Van Johnson), to smuggle her into Communist-run Albania. Once inside Albania Carson enlists the aid of freedom-loving mountain dwelling bandits, led by Trifon (Herbert Lom), to help rescue Tracy’s diplomat brother, Henri Malvoisie (Gustavo Rocco), a political prisoner with Western ideals. The last leg of the pic has the dangerous escape from Albania by Tracy, the blind Henri and Carson from Vosjev, Albania. As an added measure of heroics, Carson smuggles out of Albania a group of refugee children.

Dull, silly and weakly-executed, it’s the kind of tasteless pic that drives you to the concession stand to buy lots of popcorn to assuage your appetite. It was billed as a second feature, and opened with the Elvis feature Jailhouse Rock as the A-film.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”