Where the Spies Are

Where the Spies Are is a 1966 British comedy adventure film directed by Val Guest and starring David Niven as Dr Jason Love, Françoise Dorléac, John Le Mesurier, Cyril Cusack and Richard Marner. It was based on the James Leasor book Passport to Oblivion which was also the working title of the film. MGM intended to make a Jason Love film series but the idea was shelved.[2]

Where the Spies Are
Theatrical release poster
Directed byVal Guest
Produced byVal Guest
Steven Pallos
Written byJames Leasor
Wolf Mankowitz
Val Guest
Based onnovel Passport to Oblivion by James Leasor
StarringDavid Niven
Françoise Dorléac
John Le Mesurier
Cyril Cusack
Music byMario Nascimbene
CinematographyArthur Grant
Edited byBill Lenny
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
January 1966
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$1.2 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[1]


Rosser, a British agent is assassinated in Beirut. British intelligence boss MacGillivray recruits Dr Jason Love, who did some intelligence work during World War Two, to attend a medical conference and find out what is going on.

Love stops off in Paris and meets MagGillivray's contact, a model called Vikki. The two get along well, causing Love to miss his flight, which promptly explodes.

Love arrives in Beirut and meets another agent, Parkington. Together they discover a communist plot to assassinate the pro-British Prince of Zahlouf, thereby threatening Britain's Eastern oil treaties.

Parkington is killed and Love meets up with Vikki again, who reveals she is a double agent. Love manages to stop the assassination, but when escaping is captured by the Russians.

They put him on a plane touring the world, the "Dove of Peace", and try to extract information from him. Also on board is Vikki.

A Russian defector reveals Love's location to the British. When the plane flies over Canada, the British arrange a fake emergency so the plane will land. Vikki shoots the Russians enabling Love to escape but she is killed in turn.



MGM bought the film rights to the novel in 1964, inspired by the success of the James Bond films. David Niven was cast in the lead role. He was also making Lady L for MGM at the same time but the studio arranged the schedule accordingly. Françoise Dorléac was cast off the back of her success in That Man from Rio.[3]

The film was shot on location in Beirut.[4]

Alfredo Antonini served as the orchestra conductor for the film.[5]

David Niven and Val Guest took an option on the next five James Leasor books about Jason Love.[6] Two of them were written - Passport to Peril and Passport to Peking - with three unwritten.[7]

A 2019 audio book version of the novel entitled Passport to Oblivion features George Lazenby as Dr. Jason Love[8].


  1. "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8
  2. p.235 Morley, Sheridan The Other Side of the Moon: The Life of David Niven 1985 Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  3. NEW HORIZONS FOR CUKOR, NIVEN AND HATFIELD By A.H. WEILER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 01 Nov 1964: X9.
  4. Story of Taj Mahal Set for $8 Million: Bombay and Beirut Report; Check List of 1964's Best Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Dec 1964: D7.
  5. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0031350/
  6. MOVIE CALL SHEET: Glenn Ford Set for 'El Mal' Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 Aug 1965: d10.
  7. Kruschen Gets 'Caprice' Role Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 27 May 1966: d11.
  • Where the Spies Are on IMDb
  • Where the Spies Are at TCMDB
  • Passport to Oblivion by James Leasor, 1964, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908291-08-0
  • Review of film at Variety
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