Thursday, June 02, 2005

target of an assassin [june 01, 2005]

This little Peter Collinson-directed thriller is part of a 10-movie set innocently lying on a shelf in Best Buy surrounded by other more familiar bestsellers and shtick flicks. And what a combination of features. A South-African action thriller. Based on a novel called Running Straight by Jon Burmeister. Starring Anthony Quinn. As a male nurse from Louisiana. He's in charge of the "Tiger of Gamba", a high-ranking South African head of state who's been the favourite target for a few assassination attempts. Quinn finds out that his own days are numbered thanks to a medical condition and so, in a bid to make life better for his adopted daughter, manages to abduct the said premiere. Coincidentally, this makes things rather hairy for an assassin hired by the premiere's second-in-command. Somewhere along the way there's a lot of dialogue devoted to the captive and the captor evaluating their own situation, and also discussing hatred and racism. Despite the average quality of the DVD, the film itself isn't so bad. A modest effort, this. Watch out for Louis L'Amour's River's West and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.

A surprise bonus on this DVD comprises several previews: Experiment in Terror, A Kiss before Dying (starring Robert Wagner), Angels with Dirty Faces, High Sierra, White Heat, The Postman Always Rings Twice. The most interesting one though was the one for Anatomy of a Murder. This one involved key players on the cast roster taking oaths (in keeping with the film being a legal thriller), then there's Duke Ellington (who composed the soundtrack and also had a small cameo [is there anything like a large cameo?]) doing the same, then there's Otto Preminger discussing the adaptation with the author of the source novel. After all that, we are treated to the standard compendium of shots from the film.

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