The Road to Corinth (1967) ***

Top-class cast and occasional stylish direction get in the way of a thriller that can’t make up its mind whether it is in reality just a spoof. On the one hand we have a killer in a white suit complete with straw boater and a secret service boss who sells Turkish Delight, on the other hand a story not so much from James Bond but from Bond imitators.

Agent Robert Ford (Christian Marquand) is on the trail of black boxes that prevent missiles launching. When wife Shanny (Jean Seberg) is framed for his murder she determines to uncover the real killer, aided by Dex (Maurice Ronet), and find the maker of the boxes.

But that’s an over-simplification of an over-complicated plot so it’s best to concentrate on the highlights. For example, when customs officials stop a magician they find white rabbits and doves in his vehicle and, despite severe interrogation, he can, magically, release himself from his bonds enough to swallow a concealed cyanide pill. Instead of the usual cute children that proliferate in these kind of films, there’s a really annoying one. Shanny, imprisoned, has to make dolls. Greek Orthodox priests play a significant role.

Throw in kinky secret service boss Sharps (Michel Bouquet) who relishes being slapped for his inappropriate overtures to Shanny, a porn film starring Madame Phiphi, the heroine dangled from a crane and later lashed down to a dumper, and a villain willing to give up his villainy for the love of a good woman.

But mostly it’s a picture in a rush. There are chases galore and nods to Hitchcock and lush Greek scenery.

It would be easy to assume that in eye-catching outfits Jean Seberg (Moment to Moment, 1966) is mostly there to provide eye candy but she does manage to outwit her pursuers from time to time although she seems equally to have a knack for being caught. Maurice Ronet (Lost Command, 1966), Christian Marquand (The Corrupt Ones, 1967) and especially Michel Bouquet (La Femme Infidele, 1969) bring an air of quality to the proceedings.  

Apart from the occasional stunning image, this is not the Claude Chabrol (Les Biches, 1968) that lovers of his thrillers would expect.

There’s a print of this on Youtube. Amazon Prime has this for certain regions. Otherwise it will be Ebay.

Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Discover WordPress

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Atavist Magazine

by Brian Hannan

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: