scenes and dialogue by:
Based on the
novel "A Sort of Traitors" by:
Tense drama of spies chasing scientist who has secret formula to combat plague. Good direction and cast.
---LEONARD MALTIN'S MOVIE & VIDEO GUIDE
SINISTER CINEMA: Cult film resource offers the video in NTSC format under the US title The Risk.
THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE: Cast and crew information is available at this popular film database.
THE PETER CUSHING FILM POSTER SITE: Roger Harris' site offers a vast collection of the beloved British actor's film posters.
THE PETER CUSHING MUSEUM AND ASSOCIATION: Christopher Gullo's haven for everything Cushing with photos, reviews, news, and more.
THE PETER CUSHING SHRINE: Michael Hoaglin's shrine to Cushing with descriptions of all of his films.
Film of a Nigel Balchin Novel
Mr. Nigel Balchin, like the late Nevil Shute, gives the impression that he knows what he is writing about when it comes to what may be called the public aspect of his novels. Work, that is, work as it goes on in the laboratories, offices, and board rooms of this world is an essential part of the lives of his characters, and he makes that work convincing. Suspect, now to be seen at the Queen's Cinema. Bayswater, is based on his novel A Sort of Traitors, and he himself is responsible for the script. The film is produced and directed by Mr. Roy and Mr. John Boulting; they have made a workmanlike job of what was a workmanlike book.
A moral issue is posed in Suspect and that, since it is concerned not so much with private morality as public duty, alone is a welcome surprise. A team of scientists, under the lead of Professor Sewell (Mr. Peter Cushing), is engaged in research on virulent germs that can stamp out bubonic plague and typhus epidemics. It is ready to publish its results when Authority steps in and invokes the Official Secrets Act, since what is designed to cure disease could, in the hands of an enemy, serve to spread it.
The members of the team react to the news in differing ways, and most outspoken in his indignant contempt for the obstruction of Authority is Marriott (Mr. Tony Britton). So far, indeed, does he go in his rebellion that, egged on by no means disinterested persons, he is on the brink of giving the secret documents to an agent (Mr. Donald Pleasence), who claims to represent some good-doing body with a vague title like the International Scientific Information Society. He is contemplating, in other words, a "sort" of treason, and the fact that his motives are pure and unselfish does nothing to make his action less dangerous.
Here, then, is a situation which can be -- and is -- discussed in intelligent terms, and the direction and the acting are duly grateful, although some of the comic moments are awkward, artificial, and embarrassing, Suspect gains much from the playing of the minor parts -- Mr. Thorley Walters, for instance, is admirable as a security officer who hides his shrewdness under an air of absent-minded bewilderment and Mr. Raymond Huntley succeeds in giving startling conviction to a politician who is neither the humbug nor the fool the scientists believe him to be. Miss Virginia Maskell and Mr. Ian Bannen are in able control of the private, emotional side of the story.
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