Paul Newman plays a British (!) secret agent, Reardon, who is assigned by his chief, Mackintosh (Harry Andrews), to pose as an Australian jewel thief, be sent to jail, break out of the jail, and kill the Soviet spy he will encounter after the breakout. Unknown to Reardon, Mackintosh’s actual plot is to expose another, and more important, spy who is embedded in the British parliament.
The picture moves slowly for the first half, but becomes more suspenseful in the second half. Newman is not believable as a British spy, but that fault does not diminish the story. The film co-stars James Mason, Dominique Sanda, and Ian Bannen, and is directed by John Huston.