The Assassination Bureau

The Assassination Bureau ★★★

205th film of 2021: The Assassination Bureau Limited (Dearden, 1969) an archaic black comedy that was inspired by an unfinished Jack London novel which allows legendary British director Basil Dearden to mix together elements of the London mod style with that of Edwardian and imperialism to craft a story about a secret society that murders for hire. Oliver Reed plays the chairman of the organization Ivan Dragomiloff who is contracted by Sonya Winter (Diana Rigg, The Avengers) a woman who advocates for feminism and equality to commit a murder which she then intends to document for a London newspaper run by Lord Bostwick (Telly Savalas) who hires her in order to put his plans in motion to take power in Europe and the organization. Winter pays Dragomiloff to kill himself which pits him against the other wealthy members of the board of directors who all represent European nations: Germany, France, Italy, Russia, UK, etc and his fellow Englishman Bostwick, the vice chair of the organization who wants to use the assassination bureau to foment political unrest and change that benefits his newspaper and his munitions plant. Reed is quite good as the charming, suave, and highly efficient and knowledgeable chairman of the bureau and at times his use of weapons, intelligence, charm and sex appeal recall the Bond films. Rigg is equally good as the prim Winter, a woman who seeks to better the lives of other women in the UK unaware of the malicious intentions of Lord Bostwick. Savalas is great at playing maniacal villain of the film who nearly starts a continental war.