Tales of Murder and Cads: The Night of the Generals (1967) and Triple Crown (1966)

July 21, 2015 | By

NightOfTheGenerals_posterGenre bending and creating hybrids or ‘re-imaginings’ (a contemporary, voguish term I loathe) certainly aren’t unique, but the two mini-epics (if not in scope, than certainly in production values + casting) reviewed today show a classic genre – the WWII epic – being reworked for contemporary audiences, with some duress coming from unexpected areas.

The Night of the Generals (1967) is a serial killer mystery set before and leading right up to the failed Hitler assassination plot Operation Valkyrie, whereas Triple Cross (1966) transforms the true-life adventures of a British double-agent supposedly working for the Nazis into a James Bondian hero with unsuppressed caddish behaviour.

In Night, the creative fight was in meshing two very different stories that often took attention away from the other, whereas in Crown it’s a case of reigning in the richness of an already colourful figure – former safe cracker-turned-war hero Eddie Chapman and Christopher Plummer’s broad, giddy performance style.

Night benefits from another sterling HD transfer, showcased on Blu via Twilight Time with Maurice Jarre’s fairly sparse score in stereo, whereas Cross is still screaming for a proper release that restores the film not only to its reportedly original 140 min. running time, but from proper clean film elements.

My review source for Cross is the 2008 German Region 0 PAL DVD from Poseidon that features both the shorter U.S. edit and longer German edit, albeit neither version comes with English subtitles. Worse, both films are packed into a single layer DVD, so there’s much to gripe about even though you do get to see both versions – you just need a bit of basic German to get the gist of the deleted scenes.

Coming tomorrow is my podcast interview with Fabio Frizzi, who just announced he will indeed be in Toronto with his Frizzi 2 Fulci concert at The Opera House. See the event’s Facebook page for further info.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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