Nobody Runs Forever
Action / Drama / Thriller
Nobody Runs Forever
Action / Drama / Thriller
Rod Taylor plays a policeman sent to return a sensitive case; An Australian citizen, currently acting as high commissioner for peace talks who is wanted for an old charge -- of murder. The talks are too sensitive to be disturbed, so Taylor ends up watching Christopher Plummer as he conducts his talks, and discovers that some want the talks to fail enough to think that killing Plummer is an obvious way to stop them.
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June 28, 2018 at 01:15 AM
Familiar but OK spy drama
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)
Low key thriller, all very stolid and professionally done but hardly invigorating.
Nobody Runs Forever is based on a best-selling Jon Cleary novel entitled The High Commissioner, by which name the film is sometimes referred to in other countries. A low-key minor thriller with a stronger cast than it probably deserves, the film is perfectly watchable without ever really setting the screen alight.
A rough and ready policeman from rural Australia, Scobie Malone (Rod Taylor), is selected to go to London on a delicate assignment. The Australian High Commissioner, Sir James Quentin (Christopher Plummer), has been exposed as a murderer responsible for killing his first wife many years previously, and is to be escorted back to Oz to face justice for his crime. Malone isn't totally convinced that Sir James is actually guilty but nevertheless intends to carry out his duty to the best of his ability. All this coincides with some high-powered diplomatic talks being chaired by Sir James. When Sir James is granted extra days to see these talks to their conclusion, Malone finds himself with a little extra time to pry into his quarry's past. And when a number of assassination attempts are made on Sir James's life, Malone finds himself involved in something much darker than the simple extradition of a wanted man
Perhaps best known for his Doctor In The House comedies, director Ralph Thomas doesn't really invest this thriller with enough thrills. It's all very stolid, and deliberately understated, but it doesn't manage a sufficiently suspenseful undercurrent and the dialogue often falls flat. Taylor and Plummer are OK in the main roles, though the script doesn't give them enough to do, while the supporting characters consist of the usual mix of glamorous, shady and dastardly types. The film is quite professionally put together – good score by Georges Delerue, pleasing photography by Ernest Steward, chic costumes, interesting sets and locations, etc - but throughout there is a continual impression that something is lacking. Nobody Runs Forever is best summed up as routine – it never lapses into total tedium but it doesn't exactly get the pulse racing either.
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Sabotaging the Peace Talks
The High Commissioner finds Rod Taylor playing as is native Australian for once on screen. He's an Australian cop who is pulled off regular duty by the Prime Minister of New South Wales played by Leo McKern and asked to arrest the Australian High Commissioner in London on an old charge of murder. The High Commissioner is Christopher Plummer and the victim was his first wife who died under mysterious circumstances.
It's pretty obvious to Taylor that McKern has a political agenda and Plummer is an old rival of his. Even though this extradition seems to stink on ice, Taylor does have a job to do.
Once in London there is an attempt on Plummer's life that Taylor foils and Plummer is involved in some high level negotiations with non-aligned countries that someone doesn't want to succeed. We're left pretty much in the dark as to exactly who so our imaginations can run the gamut from the Communists to some Ian Fleming type entity like SPECTRE.
The women in this film are something to see. Plummer has a devoted second wife in Lilli Palmer who would do anything to see her husband succeed, ditto his embassy secretary Carmilla Sparv. The bad girl here in the story is alluring and mysterious Daliah Lavi who runs a gambling house in London. A lot of secrets are traded here as this seems to be a kind of neutral ground in the Cold War. Lavi was one of the sexiest women of her time back in the day and she's enough to lure people back from the dead.
This film with a brief appearance in a hospital bed from Franchot Tone was his farewell role. This could have been a real hospital bed because Tone didn't look too good. A sad farewell to one of the screen's most debonair players who was always fighting for roles to display his acting rather than good looks and sense of style.
One other role that does have a sense of style involved is that of Plummer's butler Clive Revill. He finds Taylor's Aussie ways somewhat uncouth, but Revill has more to him than a sense of manners.
The High Commissioner although somewhat murky is a fast moving action flick with a surprise ending and yes as another reviewer says, similar to Alfred Hitchcock's Sabotage.