Violent Truce Raid
The Rat Patrol
The intricate little situation is all built around a prodigious shot arranged by Davis to show a parley between Sgt. Troy and Hauptmann Dietrich. A bandaged soldier lies on a cot at a slight angle along the lower frame, above is the canopy of a hospital tent, between these foreground elements is a long shot of a hill in the background, where the parley takes place.
Confusion arises over Sgt. Moffitt’s attempt to stop a shipment of contaminated plasma. He is captured and exchanged for it, destroys a caseful and is then court-martialed by a British major unaware of the harm.
At the parley, Dietrich agrees to testify for him, having lost three men to the poison seized at gunpoint.
The Kill at Koorlea Raid
The Rat Patrol
The patrol is assigned a Cpl. Freebairn, hunter by trade and uninterested in the war, to eliminate the notorious Gen. Koenig on vacation. Allied prisoners die in his keeping.
Troy doesn’t want Koenig’s children to see him killed, “he’s brought his family,” they’re having breakfast on the patio. Freebairn is a solitary professional, Moffitt is told to kill him if he doesn’t obey.
Troy and Hitchcock climb down from this vantage point and take the General alive past Dietrich and his men on guard all around the sizeable estate.
Freebairn covers the capture with his expert rifle, and lingers just a moment to put a bullet in the back of the patio chair at an unheard-of range.
Panic in the City is among a number of other things quite a remarkable film record of Los Angeles in a state of highest genius comparable to Altman’s in Countdown.
Davis brings this to a head in a culminating chase scene that is remarkably similar to one studiously composed by Hitchcock in Family Plot.
The complicated and beautiful story is mainly played in a condition of exalted nervousness by Nehemiah Persoff as the Soviet agent. It was restored as The Fourth Protocol after being recomposed as Telefon in a vast homage.
Color Me Dead
Color Me Dead is a painter’s copy, like Degas’ copy of Poussin’s Rape of the Sabine Women in the Norton Simon Museum, D.O.A. set in New South Wales and filmed in color. Iridium is now uranium, Bigelow’s hotel room is poolside, the downtown drugstore is an indoor shopping mall, and the Bradbury building is a passenger ship. The screenplay eschews the original’s opening flashback for a valuable shot of a safe stealthily opened to switch a uranium ingot in its cubbyhole or niche. Clouds reflected in the roof of Bigelow’s sky-blue car, a spunky theme suited to Sydney, another from Samuel Barber, girls in bikinis at the Chevron Hotel, strippers at The Pink Panther... the main point is color. Davis is alive to the OK Corral gag, and casts his shootout in a roundhouse.
The Australo-American cast and the color film stock being the whole expenditure of the budget, the film’s principal glory is the wealth of good design it utilizes as set dressing in 1969 Australia, and the fine performances, especially of Tryon and Jason.
The switcheroo opening and the bride-and-bachelors close are the copyist’s signature.