Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Swiss Conspiracy (1976)

Oh, I love a good cast, and The Swiss Conspiracy is a German-US co-production with a great one: David Janssen, Senta Berger, Anton Diffring, John Ireland, John Saxon, Elke Sommer, Ray Milland and David Hess! I never heard about it, so of course I had to give it a shot for a number of reasons: it's a seventies action-thriller, it's set in Europe and had a cool poster! Everything you need from a movie. I'm not really sure about the story, but I think it's something like this:

Someone is blackmailing people with secret bank accounts, and is demanding money to not... steal money? Or give out some secrets like where the money come from or something like this. David Janssen plays David Christopher, a US government man sent to Swiss to find out who's blackmailing rich and powerful people... Maybe. Anyway, people are starting to die around him and two hitmen are also sent out to kill him and everyone else involved in this affair!

Yeah, the story is a bit vague actually, and I had problem following the intrigue, but it didn't the stop the movie from being a very charming and well made action-thriller with some excellent directing by no other than Jack Arnold! As you might know, Mr Arnold is the wonderful director responsible for a lot of classic American sci-fi and monster movies: Tarantula, It came from Outer Space, Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Incredible Shrinking Man. He mainly worked in television, but never lost his touch.

The Swiss Conspiracy delivers a few very nice action scenes. First is a great and stylish fight-scene between John Saxon and David Janssen in a garage, and later a long and cool chase-scenes with some nice stunts set in the long winding streets of Zürich. There's also a assassination and chase in a trainstation where David Hess meets his demise. Some stunning shots up in the mountains ends this little pearl of a movie. But the best scene is a car chase, nothing serious really, just David Janssen and Senta Berger trying to impress each other with their sport cars. It's fast, looking dangerous and very nice shot on the narrow and winding roads of Swiss.

To watch this movie can be difficult. I bought a UK DVD with a nice cover, but the quality was so-so, but I've heard there's worse versions released. But I should have felt something was wrong if I read a bit more carefully on the back, where you find with a small discreet font: "Some quality may have been lost during the transferring process". Never seen that on any other DVD!

Anyway, a good little movie that fans of eurocult and seventies action-thrillers might enjoy more than they think.


dfordoom said...

That's definitely a great cast. And it includes Elke Sommer!

Jocke Andersson said...

Something for me then... :)

Ninja Dixon said...

I'm sure of it, Jocke :)

leczorn said...

I loved the movie until I read the book and realized that the movie is very shallow by comparison. Ninja, when you read the book, the plot will make perfect sense to you. I was told that the movie had major financing problems and ended up being nowhere near as elaborate as had originally been planned.

Lec Zorn