Assignment Redhead (1956)
Which One's The Redhead
Demetrius (Ronald Adam) flies to Britain from Germany with forged travel documents and fake money to trade. On his case is Major Gregory Keen (Richard Enning) who has been assigned to work for the British Intelligence agency. Demetrius to keep ahead of Keen has not only killed one passenger on a plane but tries to frame another for the murder. And to make matters even more complicated Keen finds himself getting involved with a woman who in turn is involved with Demetrius.
"Assignment Redhead" is quite frankly extremely hard work with a static look and a wordy script which drags from the word go and continually struggles to grab the audience's attention. Occasionally for brief moments it manages to do something which makes you sit up and pay attention but for the most it is the sort of movie you put on in good faith and then find your mind drifting elsewhere.
So what is the issue with "Assignment Redhead"? Well I guess the first thing is a problem caused by budget as director Mclean Rogers serves up a predominantly static camera which focuses on people talking in a room and then we get a transition to the next scene. Occasionally the camera swivels and zooms in slightly but it is incredibly ordinary and makes it feel like and adaptation of a stage play although to my knowledge it is only an adaptation of a novel.
This feel of ordinary is made worse by its wordy nature with many of the scenes involving characters standing still and speaking to each other. Now there is nothing wrong with that except we get a lot of mindless drivel which does nothing other than fill in time such as three friends rambling on about their time in Berlin which has no significance in creating the story.
As such the majority of the performances in "Assignment Redhead" are pretty uninteresting with actors doing little to create character other than talking to each other in various and not always believable accents. The only performance which comes to standing out is that of Carole Mathews who is the titular Redhead although rather amusingly seeing this is a black & white movie you wouldn't know.
What this all boils down to is that "Assignment Redhead" is an uninspired crime story from the 1950's made with limited funds and with limited style making it a movie with limited interest.
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