Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Jack Davies wrote the screenplay based on his novel ESTHER, RUTH & JENNIFER and added a good dose of humor, much of it embedded in the characters of Rufus Excalibur ffolkes (sic), Moore’s character, and the main heavy played by PSYCHO’s Anthony Perkins.
ffolkes gets the call after Perkins’ Lou Kramer and his associates hijack an oil platform in the North Sea and demand 25 million pounds from the British government to prevent them from blowing it up. The Brits, in the form of Admiral Brinsden (James Mason), recruit ffolkes and his private undersea army to sneak aboard the platform, nicknamed “Jennifer,” and take Kramer out.
Titled NORTH SEA HIJACK in the United Kingdom and (inexplicably) FFOLKES in the U.S., McLaglen’s thriller lacks the scale and excitement of his other collaborations with Moore, but his two leading men and Davies’ clever plotting keep it watchable.
Moore is having a ball as ffolkes (he likes cats and doesn’t like people who don’t), grumbling about women at sea, rude smokers, and people talking while he’s trying to concentrate on his needlepoint. John Richardson, who brought his effects know-how to the HARRY POTTER franchise, supervised the superb miniatures that sell the illusion of an oil platform under siege during a rainstorm.