The Quiller Memorandum (1966)
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as Oktober's Man
as Oktober's Man
Critic Reviews for The Quiller Memorandum
A B movie, never mind the big budget and the famous names, is exactly what Memorandum is. The plot is generally aimless, the lines are merely cute.
It relies on a straight narrative storyline, simple but holding, literate dialog and well-drawn characters.
Although the whole thing is ill-served by Michael Anderson's direction, it remains perversely likeable precisely because it is rather long-winded and enigmatic.
If you've got any spying to be done in Berlin, don't send George Segal to do the job. Or rather, don't send the pudding-headed fellow that Mr. Segal plays in "The Quiller Memorandum.
Spy thrillers depend on constant action and narrative twists, whereas plots and Pinter simply do not mix.
Audience Reviews for The Quiller Memorandum
A thoughtful spy thriller, where everyone seems to know more than they let on. The only twist is how much knowledge is to be tolerated before someone dies?
Pinter's spare screenplay gives George Segal some funny lines, but the fact that Segal doesn't engage in the usual Bondsmanship is welcome relief for audiences bored with one fantastic exploit after another and yearning for a more human look at spying.
One of the few cynical spy films made at the silly height of Bondmania, and also one of the most enduringly fascinating to this day. As all the great films seem to be, it's a film that's firmly anchored in its time, meditating on issues relevant to the period, and yet, decades later, we're able to view the film as not only a work of entertainment but also as an historical artifact of the turbulent transitional period from post-WW2 to the new era of the Cold War. "Quiller" works on both levels, but, crucially is more concerned with a study of the New versus the Old and if there will ever be a difference between the two. As the hero seeks out ex-Nazis hiding in old stone buildings he comes to realize that the current generation, young and beautiful, seen between glass walls and steel of the Bauhaus style schools and offices may look and sound different, but, beneath the surface, may be all too similar to the monsters of years earlier. The hand of the late, great Harold Pinter can be seen here as the author of the screenplay adaptation, though the film is also superbly directed and photographed, as well as acted by the underrated George Segal. Highly recommended for anyone seeking a spy film less about spying and more about looking -- looking at the facades and contemplating what's behind them.
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