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Swiss Conspiracy, The


Runtime
89 minutes
Type
Color
Genres
action, crime, drama

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This entry created 19 November 2020. Last revised on 19 November 2020.

864 hits since 19 Nov 2020
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Swiss Conspiracy, The

David Janssen (The Fugitive, Green Berets, Harry O) liked to work, and this is one of the many projects he appeared in between his last television series and his death at age 48.

Perhaps as a tip to his previous TV series (O'Hara, Treasury Agent), Janssen plays David Christopher, a former Treasury agent now working freelance in Europe. He's been hired by Johann Hurtil (Ray Milland), to protect a Swiss bank and five of its customers from a blackmail plot.

Swiss bank accounts are famously unidentified, but five customers have been compromised by a blackmailer: Rasher, an arms dealer; Robert Hayes (John Saxon), an American mobster; Dwight McGowan (John Ireland), an American businessman in Europe to escape tax obligations; Denise Abbott (Senta Berger), mistress to a British politician; and Andre Kosta (Curt Lowens), a tight-lipped Dutchman.

Add to the mix bank vice-president Franz Benninger (Anton Diffring), his friend Rita Jensen (Elke Sommer), inquisitive Police Captain Frey (Inigo Gallo), and Korsak (Arthur Brauss) and Sando (David Hess), a team of American hit men.

Will Christopher solve the case? Will the bank pay the ransom? Will the bank protect its customers? Will the victims reveal their secrets? Who will the hitmen kill next, and who is paying them? Add in lots of Swiss scenery, sports cars, two trains, gunfights, and a ski resort.

The movie starts with a slow, boring narrative about Swiss bank accounts, and shows some Swiss postcards. It gets much better after that. There's also a music box that plays Beach Boys in German.

The cast is pretty amazing if you are of a certain age. David Janssen is at the top of his game. Ray Milland steals the show whenever he's on screen, unless Elke Sommer is stealing it first. John Saxon gets to play gangster, maybe a little over the top, but it's fun. John Ireland, who played bad guys in Westerns for years and years, radiates power. Senta Berger, 60s starlet, is both vulnerable and sexy. Anton Diffring, who was typecast playing Nazi bad guys, gets to do something a little different.

I enjoyed the movie. It is fast-paced, the dialogue is clever, and there's a twist ending. It was fun seeing so many familiar actors in the same film.

Can you game it? There's a night scene where the hitmen pursue a victim through an old city that could inspire a scenario or two, and another shoot-out in a train terminal.

This movie is out of copyright. The version I watched was a cheap DVD with low quality video and audio, and a picture of Janssen from some other movie; the movie is free to watch on YouTube, and can be downloaded from some streaming sites for free. The version I saw had been edited for bad language, and a bedroom scene just barely managed not to show anything too revealing.

I liked the movie. As you watch the film, keep in mind that Janssen's mother had been a showgirl, and he suspected that his true father (not on the birth certificate) was Clark Gable. Do you see a resemblance?