Quiller (George Segal) is sent to West Berlin at the height of the Cold War to find the base of Neo-Nazis. He thinks he
is hunting them only to soon find out they have been hunting him from the start like the two agents before them (that they
killed). Who can Quiller trust when anyone could be the ones hunting him?
THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM came out in 1966 during the height of people's craving for spy movies. The movie is based
on the Elleston Trevor novel of the same name and Quiller was featured in 18 other novels. There was a Quiller TV series
that ran for 13 episodes on the BBC in 1976.
One of the things that really stand out is John Barry's score (he did the music for several James Bond films and DANCES
WITH WOLVES) and the intelligent script by Harold Pinter. Max Von Sydow stands out like usual in his role as Oktober, the
head of the Neo-Nazis. Senta Burger is gorgeous as the school teacher that Quiller befriends and has a relationship with.
The casting is good from George Sanders (most known for The Saint films from the 1930s and his bad guy roles) and Alec Guiness
(many Star Wars will only know him for being Obi-Wan).
THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM is notable for the way the spy doesn't always best the bad guys and he might not get the girl in
the end. As a spy thriller, THE QUILLER MEORANDUM seems subdued compared to the James Bond films, but I think less action
actually makes the film even more interesting and on equal footing with Bond. The film is more in line with what a spy might
do without all those gadgets and being cool like Bond. Quiller uses fake names to gather info and his contact with fellow
spies is a code revolving around cigarettes. It was also filmed in West Berlin. The West Gemran film censors at the time removed
the Neo-Nazi references and audiences thought the enemies were communists. If you want a relistic counterpart to James Bond,
check out this film.
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
Nice and clear picture. Image detail is good.
AUDIO: English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono
Subtitles: English, Spanish
The audio is free of background hiss and the dialogue (and John Barry's score) comes in very clearly.
SPECIAL FEATURES: the only extras are an entertaining audio commentary by Film Historians Eddie Friedfeld and Lee Pfieffer,
and trailers for various films including this one, THE CHAIRMAN, the flint films, and three Michael Caine films (some of the
trailers are 4:3 letterboxed while others are anamorphic widescreen). The audio commentary makes reference to other spy films
and TV shows of the 1960s, that critics and the novel's author thought George Segal wasn't the right guy for Quiller, and
about how the film differed from other spy films. Included with the DVD case is a short booklet of production notes on THE
FINAL ANALYSIS: THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM is a captivating spy thriller that sucks you in (with a fantastic score by John
Barry). I do wish they had a featurette with cast and crew interviews.
The Unofficial Quiller web site- http://www.quiller.net/
Screenwriter Harold Pinter's web site-http://www.haroldpinter.org/home/index.shtml
RELATED DVD Reviews:
THE CHAIRMAN- http://enterline2.tripod.com/thechairman.html
this review is (c)11-30-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link
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