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The Internecine Project (1974) [Blu-ray]
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Hollywood legend James Coburn (Harry in Your Pocket) stars as Robert Elliot, a former secret agent given the job opportunity of a lifetime: adviser to the President of the United States. However, he has some skeletons in his closet that need eliminating, namely the four people aware of his shady past. Elliot hatches a diabolical plot to get rid of his targets in one night, with no ties leading back to him... The Internecine Project is a nerve-shattering thriller that will grip you in suspense until the unpredictable surprise ending. The stellar cast includes Lee Grant (Damien: The Omen II), Harry Andrews (Too Late the Hero), Ian Hendry (Get Carter), Julian Glover (For Your Eyes Only) and Keenan Wynn (The Mechanic). Written by Jonathan Lynn (Clue) and Barry Levinson (Who?) and directed by Ken Hughes (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Featuring a rousing score by the great Roy Budd (Get Carter, The Stone Killer, The Destructors) and stunningly shot by two-time Oscar winning Cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret, 2001: A Space Odyssey).
Special Features: Interview with Screenwriter Jonathan Lynn | Trailers
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Top Customer Reviews
Coburn shines as the cold calculating Elliot, who smoothly sets up the players, to knock each other off. David Baker (Michael Jayston) a research scientist, civil servant Alex Hillman (Ian Hendry), masseur Albert Parsons (Harry Andrews), and Christina Larsson (Christiane Kruger) a high class call girl, are the unwitting players in Elliot's "project" who are set to eliminate each other on one particular night. Rounding out the cast are Keenan Wynn as a high powered lawyer with the connections to advance Elliot's career, and Lee Grant as a reporter who becomes romantically involved with Elliot.
Once the plan is set in motion, a relaxed Elliot waits in his darkened study, smoking a cigar and drinking brandy. Studying a map of London, he checks off items on a list, as his associates complete their assigned tasks in the precise order planned, highlighted by a brutal murder in the shower. Most of the scenes are filmed in low light, with the action nicely punctuated by Roy Budd's musical score. There are a couple of sticky spots, but things go almost exactly as planned, and the film concludes with Elliot on this way to the airport bound for America.
For those that enjoy watching a sister scheme unfold, The Internecine Project is a pretty good watch, at least the first time around. Repeat value may not be very high, in this heavy on atmosphere, but rather low on action affair that rates 3.5 stars. There isn't a lot of dialog, but Coburn's suave performance as a calculating schemer is enjoyable, in this fairly nicely executed production from Barry Levinson (The Natural, Rain Man). If you like Coburn in this, you may also want to check out Harry In Your Pocket (MGM Limited Edition Collection) (1973).