DARKER THAN AMBER *** UK 1970 Dir: Robert Clouse. 96 mins
Professional beach bum and ‘knight errant’ Travis McGee goes up against psychotic body-builder Terry Bartell. McGee pulls out all the stops when he joins a Caribbean cruise to bring the killer to justice.
This is a cult 1970’s dramatic thriller starring Rod Taylor not only is Taylor a fantastic actor but he was the lead in one of my favourite films of all time The Time Machine and famously starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. The film also stars Suzy Kendall and screen legend Jane Russell in one of her last ever on screen appearances.
This is a good tense thriller for its age, but comes across slightly dated. Less Jason Bourne more mediocre Bond, well more of a George Lazenby outing! This detective style thriller that is partially shot in the beautiful Caribbean somewhat lacks colour and vigour that the sunshine and scenery provides in this thriller from Robert Clause. It’s nod to James Bond is obvious but it’s lacking so much. The lead stars bring their all, but they’re fighting to take the role serious at times in which they do a great job. Darker Than Amber needs a sucker punch of brutal suspense and more twists to give this thriller a push in the right direction.
The story is very good, I would much prefer to read a novel of this set in the current backdrop, who knows a remake could be on the cards!
Surprisingly the director Robert Clouse four years later would go on to direct one of the best noted martial arts movies of all time Brue Lee’s only US hit Enter the Dragon (1974).
Fans of Spy detective films and will enjoy this 1970’s thriller.
Review by Tony Newton