Nobody Runs Forever (1968)
Detective Scobie Malone accepts a mission to fly to London to arrest Sir James Quentin, a high-level commissioner wanted down under for murder. But when Malone arrives, he finds that the amiable Quentin is not only the key in groundbreaking peace negotiations, but also the target of an assassin himself.
A powerhouse cast (well, for the time) was put in play for "The High Commissioner" (as I saw it) or "Nobody Runs Forever." Rod Taylor (using his native Australian accent and making it sound phony) chases fugitive (for murder--allegedly) Christopher Plummer, who is now some bigwig politico in London. The catch? Plummer's character has a wonderful new idea for peace in the world and if he goes to jail it may be lost.Taylor and Plummer only scratch the surface. Dahlia Lavi, who seemed to be in every Bond-imitation going (especially the spoofs, since she had a flair for comedy) shows up with lots of decolletage; hers is the only character that gives the piece any life and she seems to have mistaken it for another comedy role. Clive Revill does a turn as a butler whose bona fides may be shaky, but though he has a few good double-takes he doesn't pull out all his stops. Camilla Sparv (who got lots of meaty roles about this time, and always seemed out of her depth in them) plays . . . well, a pretty face who keeps showing up.Unfortunately, the whole shebang is fairly run of the mill, slow and talky with it. Even the explosive climax takes its time to unfold, and it's telegraphed far too early in advance. I saw this in a double feature with Taylor's spy spoof "The Liquidator" and that seems to be the best way to approach it. Hung out to dry on its own, it doesn't amount to as much as it might have been.
NOBODY RUNS FOREVER is a fairly engaging and likeable little British thriler from 1968, virtually forgotten about today but worth taking a look at thanks to a genial performance from lead actor Rod Taylor, for once getting a chance to play an Aussie. He's flown over to the UK to arrest and take back to Australia a politician, played by Christopher Plummer in his usual slightly sleazy way. Taylor becomes Plummer's unwitting bodyguard when it becomes apparent that someone is determined to see him dead. This film boasts some fine fight and chase sequences, although it's a little slower in between during some of the romantic, sub-Bond style moments. The strong supporting cast includes a typically loathesome Derren Nesbitt, an alluring Daliah Lavi, Calvin Lockhart as a tough agent, and Clive Revill as Plummer's butler.
This is certainly not a bad film: the script maintains an air of uncertainty as to who is and who is not in the conspiracy to kill Plummer, there are some frantic fight scenes, a nice elegiac score, the performances are fine, putting in more emotion than usual for the genre, and the Goddess-like Daliah Lavi & the beautiful Camilla Sparv more than fill out the required "babe quotient" (as I've said before, these 60's spy thrillers are almost always a sure bet if you want to see some incredibly beautiful women). However, there is not much here that you have not seen before. Perhaps it says something about the greatness of Hitchcock that even one of his widely considered "lesser" pictures ("Topaz") is still better than this movie. (**1/2)
One can't help but think that at some times the story is a little stretched. A high percentage of Taylor's dialogue is un-needed, which isn't to say he doesn't perform well.Taylor plays an outback police-sergeant sent by the Premier of New South Wales to place an indictment on the Australian Ambassador in London and bring him safely to custody. However, his arrival in London coincides the same time as the ambassador (chris plummer) seems to be making a breakthrough in middle-eastern diplomacy. Taylor is persuaded by Plummber to wait until the summit is completely before talking him back. However, predictably there are certain foreign powers at play who would not want to see the summit reach any peaceful negotiations. And so the ambassadors life is at risk. Of course, Taylor is there to make sure that he is brough safely back to Australia - to stand trial and face the allegations which even he begins to find a bit suspect.Yeah, rent it watch it on tv. It's enjoyable. Nothing brilliant. The end is particularly reminiscent of Sabotage, when you think of it.