Nobody Runs Forever
Nobody Runs Forever, also called The High Commissioner, is a 1968 political spy thriller film directed by Ralph Thomas based on Jon Cleary's 1966 novel The High Commissioner. It stars Rod Taylor as Australian policeman Scobie Malone and Christopher Plummer as the Australian High Commissioner in Britain caught up in corrupt dealings, during delicate negotiations. Taylor's production company was involved in making the film as was the American Selmur Productions.
|Nobody Runs Forever|
|Directed by||Ralph Thomas|
|Produced by||Betty E. Box|
|Written by||Wilfred Greatorex|
Rod Taylor (uncredited)
|Based on||novel The High Commissioner by Jon Cleary|
|Music by||Georges Delerue|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors|
|22 August 1968|
Sergeant Scobie Malone (Taylor) of the New South Wales Police (NSW Police) is summoned to Sydney by the gruff Premier of New South Wales, Mr Flannery (played by an uncredited Leo McKern). (The character of Flannery may have been based on Sir Robert Askin, the controversial Premier of NSW at the time.) Flannery asks Malone to travel to London, to arrest the senior Australian diplomat in London, Sir James Quentin (Plummer), High Commissioner to the UK. Sir James, a political rival of the Premier, has become the only suspect in a 25 year old murder case.
Upon his arrival at the Australian High Commission in London, Malone meets Lady Quentin (Lilli Palmer) and her husband, as well as Sir James's secretary (Camilla Sparv). Sir James does not object to being arrested, but asks for a few days to conclude delicate peace negotiations. As Malone waits as a guest of the High Commission, he uncovers a plot to assassinate Sir James, masterminded by the head of a dangerous spy ring, Maria Cholon (Daliah Lavi).
- Rod Taylor as Scobie Malone
- Christopher Plummer as Sir James Quentin
- Lilli Palmer as Lady Sheila Quentin
- Camilla Sparv as Lisa Pretorius
- Daliah Lavi as Maria Cholon
- Clive Revill as Joseph
- Lee Montague as Denzil
- Calvin Lockhart as Jamaica
- Derren Nesbitt as Pallain
- Edric Connor as Julius
- Paul Grist as Coburn
- Burt Kwouk as Pham Chinh
- Russell Napier as Leeds
- Ken Wayne as Ferguson
- Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell as Jacko (as Charles Tingwell)
Filmed in Australia and London, this was the last big-screen appearance of Franchot Tone, who plays the American ambassador.
Rod Taylor has a rare opportunity to play an Australian, even though that is his native land. Taylor's unsophisticated integrity is contrasted with the London diplomatic scene throughout the film.
Taylor accepted the role on the proviso he could rewrite some of the script. In particular, the opening scene where Scobie Malone arrests Jacko (Charles Tingwell) is Rod's work.
Differences from novel
There were several key changes from the novel, including:
- introducing Scobie Malone as an outback policeman;
- reducing the emphasis on the peace conference being for the Vietnam War and making it something more vague;
- Scobie having sex with Maria Cholon.
- "ABC's 5 Years of Film Production Profits & Losses", Variety, 31 May 1973 p 3
- Stephen Vagg, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood, Bear Manor Media, 2010 p 139
- ""THE HIGH COMMISSIONER"". The Australian Women's Weekly. 14 August 1968. p. 8. Retrieved 17 December 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- Collected Interviews: Voices from Twentieth-century Cinema by Wheeler W. Dixon, SIU Press, 2001 p113
- "No embarrassment for our High Commissioner". The Canberra Times. 31 October 1967. p. 15. Retrieved 18 October 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- French box office for 1969 at Box Office Story