PEOPLE, THE (director/writer:
John Gilling; screenwriter: John Gossage/from
the story by Louis Pollock; cinematographer: Ted Moore;
editor: Jack Slade; music: George Melachrino;
cast: Paul Douglas
(Mike Wilson), Eva Bartok (Paula Wendt), Leslie Phillips
(Howard Meade), Walter Rilla (Boronski), Philip Leaver
(Koerner), Martin Miller (Lochner), Michael Caridia
(Hugo Wendt), Pauline Drewett (Hedda Lochner), Jackie
Lane (Anna), Olaf Pooley (Bikstein); Runtime:
79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John Gossage; Columbia;
"A strange but uneven Ruritanian comedy sci-fi tale."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A strange but uneven Ruritanian comedy sci-fi tale directed by Brit filmmaker John Gilling ("The Man Inside"/"The Plague of the Zombies"/"The Reptile"), who cowrites it with producer John Gossage and bases it on the story by Louis Pollock.
American newspaper reporter
Mike Wilson (Paul Douglas) and British photographer
Howard Meade (Leslie Phillips) play chess
on a train while traveling across an unidentified
Eastern bloc country, heading to cover a musical
festival in Salzburg, and find their railroad car
mysteriously gets unhooked from the train. They embark
in an oppressive country they never heard of called
Gudavia. After jailed for being spies by a bumbling
they're released the next day with apologies and while
staying in a luxury hotel they find it odd there's no
way to telephone or telegraph the outside world.
There's also no transportation out of town. Finally
they discover there's a mad scientist, Dr. Boronski (Walter Rilla), who for the last five
years has been the country's dictator and is secretly
experimenting with children and subjecting them to
gamma rays. Some turn out geniuses without emotions
while most others turn out to be imbecile goons, who
dirty work to control the population. With the help of Paula (Eva Bartok), a scientist forced to
work for Boronski
after he murdered her father, they burn down the
crackpot's lab and bring about his demise. The
unlikely heroes save the country from a madman, and
leave the country by car with Paula and two genius
Drewett & Michael
Caridia) they rescue after the
pianist girl's father was killed by Boronski's goons.
The messy undeveloped film
about mind control never comes together to make sense
or was it properly executed, as it remains intriguing
only for all the peculiar ideas it raises.
REVIEWED ON 10/27/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ