HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Tamarind Seed, The Julie And Omar Sitting In A Tree
Year: 1974
Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Julie Andrews, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle, Dan O'Herlihy, Sylvia Syms, Oskar Homolka, Bryan Marshall, David Baron, Celia Bannerman, Roger Dann, Sharon Duce, George Mikell, Kate O'Mara, Constantine Gregory, John Sullivan, Terence Plummer, Leslie Crawford
Genre: Drama, Thriller, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Judith Farrow (Julie Andrews) is still suffering trauma from the premature death of her husband in a car accident where his vehicle hurtled off a cliff and exploded on landing, so for the next couple of weeks she has taken a break from her job at the Home Office to try and relax on holiday in Barbados, wandering along the beaches and soaking up the sun. However, when she is reading a book before lunchtime, she is approached by a Russian gentleman, Feodor Sverdlov (Omar Sharif) who does his best to strike up a conversation with her in spite of Judith giving off every impression of wanting to be alone. Nevertheless, she relents and soon they are enjoying a meal together, chatting away and falling in love...

The problem with that being their respective occupations back home; she works for the British Government and therefore has access to all sorts of information, not least because she is also on holiday to forget a recent affair with an official, Richard Paterson (David Baron), who is married though his wife hasn't found out about his infidelity. Meanwhile, Feodor is a KGB agent whose bosses have a great interest in him coaxing secrets out of Judith should he manage to get her to fall in love with him, which left the plot of The Tamarind Seed not so much Ian Fleming - in spite of a lush John Barry score and title sequence by Maurice Binder - and more a romantic variation on John Le Carré.

This was Julie Andrews' return to the screen after almost half a decade away, putting two major flops behind her and attempting to prove she still had it in her to be a box office draw. Assisting manfully was her husband Blake Edwards, he not having quite deserted the comedy that had made his name but in this case exhibiting his range with a more sober drama. Indeed, there wasn't one laugh in this, a sombre tone bringing down much in the way of adventure or even a romantic sweep, leaving a curiously nuts and bolts method to telling its tale of spy games and budding affairs. As it turned out, The Tamarind Seed (named after an object which offers Judith some hope in light of what it represents), though far from huge, wasn't a disaster as Andrews' Star! or Darling Lili had been, and continues to enjoy a loyal following to this day.

Which was odd in itself since this was a very un-Julie Andrews role she was essaying, she barely cracked a smile in the whole two hours running time and for most of it looked to be labouring under some of the heaviest burdens life could inflict: maybe her feelings of how much was riding on this role were brought out in her performance. This was contrasted with Sharif, the old smoothie at his smoothest and representing for what you had to presume were legions of Julie's fans just the kind of exotic leading man they could imagine sweeping them off their feet and taking them away from all this. They made quite a nice couple, his Egyptian debonair demeanour a satisfying match with her uptight but yearning Britishness, but the rest of the characters tended to be involved in machinations which would see them broken apart.

That restrictive feeling of others intruding on potential happiness for their own selfish reasons is one often best exemplified by the spy drama, and here it was turned straight up to a high volume, so much so that the lovers appear doomed from the first ten minutes. There were complications in the shape of Feodor's boss General Golitsyn (Oskar Homolka's final movie role, echoing his Harry Palmer appearances in the previous decade) who our hero tells this lovey-dovey business is merely a way of securing those Western secrets, as meanwhile diplomat Fergus Stephenson (Dan O'Herlihy) has his own doublecrossing to put into effect, leaving his wife (Sylvia Syms) both aghast at his corruption and unable to do or say anything about it, another example of how the women get a raw deal and also appealing to Andrews' female fans who liked to relate to whatever suffering female stars were going through. With a sudden action movie climax to wake you out of the brooding of the past two hours, this was better as romance than thriller, but managed a classy, if constrained, air throughout.

[Network's Blu-ray presents a well-restored print and quite a few extras, including vintage interviews with Edwards and Sharif and two John Barry music suites.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2442 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: