(director/writer: Bryan Forbes; screenwriter: novel by Desmond Cory; cinematographer: Gerry Turpin; editor: John Jympson; music: John Barry; cast: Michael Caine (Henry Clarke ), Giovanna Ralli (Fé Moreau ), Eric Portman (Moreau), Nanette Newman (Girl), David Buck (Salinas), Carlos Pierre (Antonio); Runtime: 120; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Paul Monash; Salamander; 1968-UK)

A failed attempt at an Alfred Hitchcock suspense thriller.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A failed attempt at an Alfred Hitchcock suspense thriller. Director-writer Bryan Forbes(“Whistle Down The Wind”/”The L-Shaped Room“/”Of Human Bondage“) adapts from the novel by Desmond Cory. The dreary pic is also ludicrous, pretentious, humorless and poorly acted. It’s an insufferable romantic melodrama that poses as a heist pic.

Cured alcoholic Michael Caine leaves the sanatorium and becomes romantically involved with Giovanna Ralli. She’s married to his burglary partner Eric Portman, a former French resistance fighter, who is a homosexual. Portman’s boy toy is the young Spaniard Carlos Pierre.

The pic is framed around a finale jewel heist among the three principals. They rob the château of the playboy millionaire David Buck. But the heist is secondary to the illicit affair. The dark secret revealed is that hubby’s wife is also his daughter. This, of course, leads to a suicide pact among the principals.

It’s hard to figure out what Forbes was trying to say in this messy pic, but whatever it was it didn’t register with me as a convincing Freudian psychological thriller.