Cast & Crew
John Le Mesurier
Rosser, a British intelligence agent, is murdered by communists in Beirut, whereupon Intelligence Chief MacGillivray persuades mild-mannered country doctor Jason Love to go to the Middle East and learn what information Rosser had discovered. Having done a bit of undercover work during World War II, Jason eagerly anticipates a little adventure in the sunshine. En route to Lebanon, he meets a beautiful model, Vikki, and decides to catch a later flight. After watching his scheduled plane explode shortly after takeoff, Jason realizes the seriousness of his mission. Once in Beirut, he and another British agent learn that communists plan to assassinate the pro-British Prince of Zahlouf, thereby threatening Britain's Eastern oil treaties. Although Jason thwarts the assassination attempt, he is forced to climb to the top of a castle to avoid an angry mob. He is snatched from his perch by a Russian helicopter, the "Dove of Peace," which ostensibly is on a global goodwill mission. Jason finds that Vikki is also aboard. Upon learning of Jason's plight, MacGillivray arranges for the craft to be sidetracked to Canada. As the plane sets down, Vikki tries to push Jason to safety but is shot. Jason tumbles out of the emergency exit, however, just as the helicopter takes off again. A message from MacGillivray asks Jason to take another little trip, but he intends to have no part of it.
John Le Mesurier
Frank Sherwin Green
J. B. Smith
A. W. Watkins
Where the Spies Are
Dr. Love, a fancier of vintage automobiles, is talked into a dangerous assignment with the promise of a 1937 Chrysler LeBaron to replace his 1937 Cord Phaeton. Sent to Lebanon to investigate the murder of a colleague (Nigel Davenport), he encounters a beautiful double agent (Francoise Dorleac) who helps him uncover a plot by Russian agents to assassinate a pro-British Middle Eastern prince.
The Cord Phaeton driven by Niven had to be restored from a collection of rusty parts in just a matter of months to meet the start of filming. According to the Internet Movie Database, the mechanic who restored the car claimed that Niven could not master its "idiosyncratic gearbox" and drove it in a low gear that resulted in overheating. A scene showing the steaming auto was hastily rewritten to work around the problem.
The radiant and talented Dorleac was the older sister of Catherine Deneuve and a rising star whose fame helped her younger sibling attract notice when they costarred together in three films including the very popular The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967). The year of that film's release, Dorleac was killed at age 25 when her sports car crashed and burned in Nice, France.
Producer: Steven Pallos, Val Guest, F. Sherwin Green (associate)
Director: Val Guest
Screenplay: Wolf Mankowitz, Val Guest, James Leasor, from Leasor's novel Passport to Oblivion
Cinematography: Arthur Grant
Art Direction: John Howell
Original Music: Mario Nascimbene
Editing: Bill Lenny
Cast: David Niven (Dr. Jason Love), Francoise Dorleac (Vikki), John Le Mesurier (MacGillivray), Cyril Cusack (Rosser), Eric Pohlmann (Farouk).
by Roger Fristoe
Where the Spies Are
According to John Heseltine (who restored the car for the film) 'David Niven' could not master the idiosyncratic gearbox of the Cord 810 and subsequently it was driven in bottom gear, resulting in it overheating. The scene in the film showing the steaming Cord was hastily rewritten to work around the problem. The car had to be restored from nothing but a rusty collection of parts in just six months, ready for shooting.
Copyright length: 113 min. Location scenes filmed in Beirut and Jubayl, Lebanon. Opened in London in March 1966; running time: 113 min. Working titles: Passport to Oblivion and One Spy Too Many. Brian Fahey's music credit is unconfirmed.