Yesterday's film (The Odessa File, 1974) got me thinking about suspenseful films of that era. Many of them had a Cold War theme to them, so for the next few days I'll be featuring some obscure cold war cinema.
In 1974 Julie Andrews starred in this film directed by her husband Blake Edwards. Also starring was Omar Sharif as a Soviet agent who meets Ms. Andrews (a British Home Office worker) on holiday. They begin an affair, platonic at first, and it causes all sorts of problems for both of them with their respective governments. This film is based on a book of the same name by Evelyn Anthony and, except for a venue change from New York to London, is (as far as I remember) fairly faithful to it. One of the most intriguing aspects of Mr. Sharif's character is his deft ability play the game of espionage while still maintaining his integrity with Judith Farrow (Andrews) and the audience. His honesty is very refreshing. As Cold War dramas go, The Tamarind Seed has it's share of edge-of-your-seat action and doesn't disappoint on dramatic effects. There's a bit of a melancholy quality to the film but the resolution is quite a surprise. Look for veteran character actor Oskar Homolka as Omar Sharif's boss.
The film is available on VHS and on region 2 (UK) DVD, but has yet to come out on DVD for the USA/Canada market. It can be found in its entirety on YouTube and iOffer.com. The first installment of it is above, uploaded by DrageReborn.
Obscurity factor 7 (available on VHS, YouTube & iOffer.com and on DVD in the UK, rarely screened on TV, largely forgotten)