'Twas only a payday for Widmark.
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 04/26/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In this work filmed entirely in Israel, Richard Widmark gamely portrays Sam Lucas, a "retired" CIA operative who discovers that he is involuntarily back in action due to the sudden urging of his former initiate Gabriel Lee (Oliver Reed) who has been turned by the Soviet Union and now wants to come back into the American fold, not realizing that both players in the game have sent assassins to Israel to eliminate him, and Lucas as well. The direction is flabby with undue emphasis being placed upon silly and, naturally, superfluous stunts and car chases, with an inappropriate free hand being given to Gayle Hunnicut, playing the wife of Lucas and former lover of Lee, whose melodramatism proves distortive for what should be the critical scenes in this leaden affair, while the pudgy Englishman Reed, ill-advised to strip to the waist, has his lines dubbed in order to present an acceptable American accent.
PETER COLLINSON, OPUS 14
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 03/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"***1/2 1976. Israeli co-production directed by Peter Collinson. The CIA and the KGB decide to eliminate Gabriel Lee, a spy currently working for the Russians. Lee finds refuge at Sam Lucas's home. Sam is a former CIA agent who retired a few years before. If you like spy thrillers on location, check this one. The film is not a masterpiece but is still watchable although the copy presented by Westgate is far from being perfect (VHS quality, no more). In fact, I really appreciate the mood of the American spy thrillers of the late 60's and the 70's. There are always car chases and explosions with a cool jazz-pop musical score easily recognizable. I also liked, in the SELL OUT, the streets of the old Jerusalem (empty most of the time because of the shooting) and the performance of Oliver Reed. Recommended."
Pretty good plot, but rather poorly executed
Robert J. Crawford | Balmette Talloires, France | 12/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As the first reviewer said, the direction of this is clunky at best. The acting is good, but this is one of the poor efforts that Read made for money when his career was derailing due to drinking and simple laziness. Widmark is quite good, as are the Israeli operatives, and you believe their tragedy. What I most liked about the film is that more is left unexplained and while Read gives a bit of a soliloquy at the end, it is not clear what all the agendas were and no simple labels seem to apply.
This is above average for a spy film, but could have been much much better."