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The High Commissioner

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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(Nov 02, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Thrills and suspense abound in this "crackling good tale" (Los Angeles Times) of political intrigue and murder! Starring a "rough and likable" (The Hollywood Reporter) Rod Taylor and an"excellent" (Variety) Christopher Plummer, The High Commissioner will exhilarate you! Aussie detective Scobie Malone (Taylor) accepts a mission to fly to London to arrest Sir James Quentin (Plummer), a high-level Australian commissioner wanted down under for murder. But when Malone arrives, he finds that the amiable Quentin is not only the key in groundbreaking peace negotiations, but also the target of an assassin himself! His mission hopelessly changed, Malone must finda way to escortand protectQuentin while routing out this new enemy or face deadly international consequences!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Rod Taylor, Christopher Plummer, Lilli Palmer, Camilla Sparv, Daliah Lavi
  • Directors: Ralph Thomas
  • Writers: Jon Cleary, Wilfred Greatorex
  • Producers: Betty E. Box, James H. Ware, Selig J. Seligman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7O56
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,626 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The High Commissioner" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
To start with, since the previous reviewer asked - the cast includes:

Rod Taylor as Scobie Malone
Christopher Plummer as Sir James Quentin
Lilli Palmer as Lady Sheila Quentin
Camilla Sparv as Lisa Pretorius
Daliah Lavi as Maria Cholon
Clive Revill as Joseph

And now on to the movie itself - a political thriller set in London in the 1960s, when tensions between East and West were at a dangerous high. The plot revolves around Sir James Quentin, the Australian high commissioner to London, played with elegance and style by Christopher Plummer, who is the chairman of an international conference that attempts to bridge political divides through trade. "Peace through plenty" is how one of the conference participants puts it. But although Sir Quentin is quite successful in his negotiations, not all is well. Someone close to him is leaking confidential information, trying to discredit the conference. Shadowy assasins have an eye on the commissioner and the politics around the conference are a tangled web.

On top of that, in the middle of the conference sergeant detective Scobie Malone (a great tough-but-good-guy portrait by Rod Taylor) flies in from Australia, sent by Quentin's political rival, the premier of New South Wales, to arrest him for the alleged murder of his former wife. But did he do it? Malone himself and his boss at the CID don't think so. The inquiry was made by the politically motivated premier's people and not by the CID. However, a mandate of arrest was issued and Malone is supposed to bring the commissioner back to Australia.
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Format: DVD
This is a political thriller that adds an old murder to the mix to create a movie that's entertaining but not quite as good as I'd hoped for. Aussie cop Scobie Malone (Rod Taylor) is sent to London to arrest and bring back for trial the Australian High Commissioner Sir James Quentin (Christopher Plummer), who is in the midst of crucial negotiations with some third world countries. Malone's boss believes there is now enough evidence against Sir James to pin on him the murder of his first wife which happened several years ago. When Malone arrives in London, however, he finds Sir James to be the target of assassins who are determined to see the negotiations fail. At the same time, he comes to believe that it's possible Sir James wasn't the murderer after all. Sir James pleads for time to complete the negotiations and Malone agrees, but then finds himself in the position of having to protect Sir James from the assassins.

Rod Taylor does a fine job playing Malone, a beefy, straightforward cop. Malone also is smarter than many people at first expect him to be. Christopher Plummer turns in another polished performance as the high commissioner, a man dedicated to the talks, in love with his second wife and with enough steel in him that you're not sure whether he is a killer or not. Lili Palmer, one of my favorite actors, as Lady Quentin is beautiful and fragile, and may have secrets of her own.

The murder story is really background to the thriller story, but I wish it had been more heavily emphasized. It would have made for a much more complex film. On balance, though, the movie is worth watching. The DVD transfer is a little soft and the audio should have been tweaked up. That, combined with the Australian accents, at times requires careful listening.
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Format: DVD
This film gets 3 stars as I enjoyed this classy, slow-paced thriller and the good cast. Mostly, though, my biggest pleasure was Georges Delerue's melancholy music score, particularly at the end and in the main title credits. Unfortunately this print has parts of the title music GARBLED -- UNFORGIVEABLE since this score was never released commercially and cannot be savoured anywhere except on this DVD. Thumbs down to M-G-M for their careless audio presentation (fortunately I have a home-made DVD from an Australian friend with PRISTINE audio on the main title; couldn't M-G-M get a print from there??)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This one is a brilliant little time capsule, London in the Sixties, Australia, a New South Wales Premier acting like most of the Aussie pols of the day, Rod Taylor, Australian, as Scobie Malone, Australian cop, based on a book by Jon Cleary, tight little plot that holds together remarkably well, and could have been the base for a wider series of films if they'd thought about it, since the Malone books have been going strong for close on forty years.
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I really enjoyed THE HIGH COMMISSIONER, a very good story line, action, suspense and intrigue. I had not seen this movie before, but getting it at such a great price I figured I could not go wrong. A vary good acting performance by both Rod Taylor and Christopher Plummer. I highly recommend this movie, especially if you are a fan of these two actors, you will like this film.
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Rod Taylor is excellent as the Aussie detective sent to London to arrest an Australian political figure (Christopher Plummer) wanted for murder. Intense, intriguing and set in swinging 60s London, the plot moves along at a great pace with unexpected twists and turns. The Wimbledon Tennis Championships backdrop adds an element of extra interest. Great 60s suspense.
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