Sean Connery and Cornelia Sharpe in The Next Man (1976)


(director: Richard C. Sarafian; screenwriters: Morton S. Fine/David M. Wolf/Alan R. Trustman; cinematographer: Michael Chapman; editors: Aram Avakian/Robert Q. Lovett/Nina Feinberg; music: Michael Kamen; cast: Sean Connery (Khalil Abdul-Muhsen), Cornelia Sharpe (Nicole Scott), Albert Paulsen (Hamid), Adolfo Celi (Al Sharif), Marco St John (Justin), Charles Cloffi (Fouad), Ted Beniades (Dedano); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Martin Bregman; Allied Artists; 1976)

Even in a bad film, an uninspired Connery is still watchable.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Uneven mindless thriller, lacking a lucid narrative and a plot that is credible. Director Richard C. Sarafian(“Eye of Tiger”/”Street Justice”/”Solar Ctisis”) never gets to making the story flow, as he gets stuck with execution problems. Sarafian and the team of writers–Morton S. Fine, David M. Wolf andAlan R. Trustman– seem to lack any political expertise, which is furthermore problematic because they are also mediocre filmmakers.

A female assassin (Cornelia Sharpe ) is hired by agents of the Soviet Union and Middle East oil countries to kill the UN’s idealistic Saudi Arabian Minister of State (Sean Connery). The reason is because Sean plans to sign a mutual assistance pact with Israel and, if you can believe further, provide cheap oil to Third World countries. Instead of the contract hit, she’s taken in by his charms and falls for him.

The stunning Sharpe could easily pass for a model, but to believe she’s a contract killer went beyond what I could believe.

The lush scenery from around the world makes for a pleasant touristy watch and, even in a bad film, an uninspired Connery is still watchable.