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Action of the Tiger (1957), wealthy heiress Tracy Mallambert (French actress Martine Carol, in one of her few English-speaking appearances) travels to Athens to hire an unscrupulous captain named Carson to smuggle her into Communist-held Albania. Carson, played by Van Johnson, is strictly a soldier-of-fortune, unwilling to stick his neck out for anybody unless the price is right. Tracy's bid is on the money, so Carson agrees to smuggle her into Albania by way of Greece.Once behind the Iron Curtain, Tracy and Carson enlist the aid of a group of freedom-loving Albanian outlaws, led by Trifon (Herbert Lom) to help rescue Tracy's father, a political prisoner. The final third of the film details the desperate escape attempt by Tracy, her father and Carson from Albania. Based on a novel by James Wellard, the Cinemascope action drama was filmed in Spain and produced by Van Johnson Enterprises.
In a small role as Mike, Carson's rough-hewn first mate is Sean Connery. His most memorable moment in the film is when he gets to chase Tracy around Carson's boat in a failed attempt at seduction. Martine Carol, it should be noted, was France's biggest sex siren in the early fifties until she was usurped by Brigitte Bardot. Her off screen life often generated headlines, especially after a failed suicide attempt in 1947 when she threw herself in the Seine River after a torrid affair with married actor Georges Marchal.
Many believe that Connery made his movie debut in a 1958 film entitled Another Time, Another Place, the poster of which prominently displayed the words "Introducing Sean Connery." In truth, Connery had already done supporting turns in a handful of small films, including No Road Back (1957), Hell Drivers (1957) with Stanley Baker, Patrick McGoohan and Herbert Lom, and Action of the Tiger, directed by Terence Young. The Scottish actor would reunite with the latter director for Dr. No (1962) five years later. After that, Connery and Young made two more Bond films together, From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).
Producer: Joseph Blau, Kenneth Harper, Johnny Meyer, George Willoughby
Director: Terence Young
Screenplay: Robert Carson, Helen Goss, Peter Myers, James Wellard (novel)
Cinematography: Desmond Dickinson
Film Editing: Frank Clarke
Art Direction: Scott MacGregor
Music: Humphrey Searle
Cast: Van Johnson (Carson), Martine Carol (Tracy Malvoisie), Herbert Lom (Trifon), Gustavo Rojo (Henri Malvoisie), Jose Nieto (Kol Stendho), Helen Haye (Countess Valona).
by Scott McGee