The plot is not original - Algis Budrys's novel "Who?" and a segment of "The Dick Powell Show" called "The Great Anatole" both dealt with a scientist who becomes disgusted with the way his work has been politicised, and who fears that his researches, being thus corrupted in the Cold War, may lead to World War III. Here, scientist Harry elects simply to disappear rather than continue with his big project. Alas, the script does not dare take a brave line by suggesting that his pacifism is unambiguously admirable, just as his peacenik drop-out son cannot be shown as unambiguously idealistic in fleeing to Canada to avoid Vietnam, but must be depicted as dangerously naive (to the point of idiocy in the suspense climax). The security boys from the good old US are sweet-natured, compassionate fellows to a man, whilst the Commies are brutes beneath contempt, save for a quietly eloquent scientist who is seen briefly in the very first scene. All these boring (and, by 1969, rather offensive) Cold War cliches really bring down a storyline which begins most promisingly. Barry Shear's direction, however, is packed with forward momentum, and Darren McGavin, subbing for Tony Franciosa, is a jolly hero, a kind of better-dressed Carl Kolchak. James Whitmore and Jan Sterling impressively create a loving married couple whom the world has inexorably driven apart, Marsha Hunt does a neat scene as a caustic secretary and Strother Martin enjoys himself as an outrageously bad bad guy.
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