This caught Richard Fleischer on the cusp between a director of films noir/action adventures and – well – anything. The cast resembles something noir-ish – Edmond O’Brien, Arthur Kennedy, Arthur O’Connell, Stephen Boyd – with the addition of Donald Pleasence (guess who’s the baddie?) and, er, Raquel Welch! Raquel plays a ‘technical adviser’ who has a ‘sensible’ haircut (basically a beehive), a jumpsuit degrees tighter than anyone else’s and has to suffer remarks like – as she drives a miniature submarine or whatever – ‘I bet you’re very handy about the house.’ (Also, when given the chance to ‘act’ – as in the near-death scene about being attacked by anti-bodies – she’s quite, quite terrible.)
The victim on the operating table has – though nobody says this for fear people in the audience would know of simpler solutions than putting a miniature submarine up his jacksie – quite simply had a stroke (‘a clot on the brain’) – and I for one would like to try dissolving the clot with a laser beam.
The real ‘star’ – who presumably didn’t mind at all the ‘serious’ dialogue, but may have rebelled at the total lack of humour – was writer Harry Kleiner, who (a trip to IMDb tells me) wrote, in a 40-year career: Otto Preminger’s Fallen Angel and Carmen Jones, Henry Hathaway’s The Dark Corner, Sam Fuller’s House Of Bamboo, Peter Yates’s Bullitt and Walter Hill’s Extreme Prejudice (which I remember as being fantastic, but probably wasn’t) and Red Heat.