Triple Cross


2h 6m 1967
Triple Cross

Brief Synopsis

A safecracker turns double agent during WWII.

Film Details

Also Known As
La fantastique histoire vraie d'Eddie Chapman
Genre
Drama
War
Biography
Spy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 24 May 1967
Production Company
Cineurop
Distribution Company
Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.
Country
France
Screenplay Information
Based on the book The Eddie Chapman Story [as told to] Frank Owen by Eddie Chapman (London, 1953).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

British safecracker Eddie Chapman is arrested during the early part of World War II for robbing a movie theater and imprisoned on the Isle of Jersey. When the Germans occupy the island, he contacts two members of German Intelligence, Colonel Steinhager and The Countess, and offers himself, for a price, as a spy. His offer accepted, Eddie receives espionage training from Baron von Grunen, and after passing a loyalty test, he is parachuted into England. Once there, he volunteers to work for British Intelligence in exchange for a full pardon. When the British stage a fake explosion of an aircraft factory which is photographed by German reconnaissance planes, Eddie is credited for the sabotage and returned to Paris to be awarded the German Iron Cross. Then, as the Allies approach Paris, Eddie is sent back to England to report on the accuracy of Hitler's rocket attacks on London. Instead, he radios false reports and diverts the rockets into unpopulated areas. Now a hero in both countries, Eddie celebrates the war's end in a London pub. As he sips his beer, the temptations of his former life return to him and he surreptitiously eyes the tavern safe.

Film Details

Also Known As
La fantastique histoire vraie d'Eddie Chapman
Genre
Drama
War
Biography
Spy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 24 May 1967
Production Company
Cineurop
Distribution Company
Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.
Country
France
Screenplay Information
Based on the book The Eddie Chapman Story [as told to] Frank Owen by Eddie Chapman (London, 1953).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Triple Cross


Although it's based on the real-life World War II exploits of Eddie Chapman, a British spy, Terence Young's Triple Cross (1966) seems a great deal like an early James Bond picture. This only makes sense since Young preceded his work on the film by directing Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Thunderball (1965). Producer Jacques-Paul Bertrand intended for Young to infuse Chapman's story with a certain debonair flair, and the two men stacked the deck in their favor by casting the casually suave Christopher Plummer as Chapman. Yul Brynner, Trevor Howard, Romy Schneider and Gert Frobe (the title villain of Goldfinger, 1964) fill out the supporting roles.

Plummer's Chapman is a relatively amoral safecracker who is jailed on a remote island that's taken over by the Germans during the War. He eventually convinces the Third Reich to let him spy for them. But he turns the tables when he informs the British of his activities, thus becoming a double agent. Plummer infuses Chapman with an enviable arrogance, even when he's trying to put one over on Hitler's minions. His adventures aren't particularly believable, even if they're based on fact, but they're fun to watch.

Given his past exploits, Chapman, strangely enough, was still living when Triple Cross was being filmed, and Young badly wanted him as his technical advisor. However, French authorities wouldn't allow Chapman into the country because, for reasons that were never really ascertained, he had once kidnapped the sultan of Morocco.

In his autobiography, In Spite of Myself, Christopher Plummer makes the film shoot for Triple Cross sound more like a luxurious vacation than work. He was absolutely smitten with Young, his family, and their good friend, Lady Annie Orr-Lewis, who, Plummer recalled, constantly carried a Shih Tzu who she referred to as "My Little Sh*t." He also appreciated being housed at the old George V hotel because its long bar always featured a string of high-class call girls of various nationalities.

Initially, however, it seemed as if the Triple Cross production would never get off the ground. "The first news I received on arrival," Plummer wrote, "was that the film had been cancelled - that the backers had not only reneged on the deal but had been thrown in jail. This sort of thing I learned was to be occasionally expected on a Terry Young film. He would try to make deals with anyone no matter how untrustworthy, living on the edge as he did, but always cunningly managed to get things fixed in the long run. The online producer told me, 'Just stay close to the hotel - eat and drink all you want. It'll be covered, I promise.'"

Sure enough, after a week, a mysterious woman named Madame Gouin fronted the needed money. From there, it was well-appointed train journeys for Plummer, with 90-minute lunch breaks during the shoot, an unheard of luxury on most movies. "With Terry as maestro," he wrote, "the life surrounding the work was just as important if not more so, and everything and everyone involved had to be attractive. Terry was a beauty snob, may God rest his soul!"

Director: Terence Young
Producer: Jacques-Paul Bertrand
Screenplay: Rene Hardy (based on the book The Eddie Chapman Story by Frank Owen)
Editor: Roger Dwyre
Cinematographer: Henri Alekan
Music: Georges Garvarentz
Art Direction: Rene Renoux, Tony Roman
Sound: Jacques Lebreton
Makeup: Marie-Madeleine Paris
Cast: Christopher Plummer (Eddie Chapman), Romy Schneider (The Countess), Trevor Howard (Freddie Young), Gert Frobe (Col. Steinhager), Claudine Auger (Paulette), Yul Brynner (Baron Von Grunen), Georges Lycan (Leo), Jess Hahn (Commander Braid).
C-126m.

by Paul Tatara
Triple Cross

Triple Cross

Although it's based on the real-life World War II exploits of Eddie Chapman, a British spy, Terence Young's Triple Cross (1966) seems a great deal like an early James Bond picture. This only makes sense since Young preceded his work on the film by directing Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Thunderball (1965). Producer Jacques-Paul Bertrand intended for Young to infuse Chapman's story with a certain debonair flair, and the two men stacked the deck in their favor by casting the casually suave Christopher Plummer as Chapman. Yul Brynner, Trevor Howard, Romy Schneider and Gert Frobe (the title villain of Goldfinger, 1964) fill out the supporting roles. Plummer's Chapman is a relatively amoral safecracker who is jailed on a remote island that's taken over by the Germans during the War. He eventually convinces the Third Reich to let him spy for them. But he turns the tables when he informs the British of his activities, thus becoming a double agent. Plummer infuses Chapman with an enviable arrogance, even when he's trying to put one over on Hitler's minions. His adventures aren't particularly believable, even if they're based on fact, but they're fun to watch. Given his past exploits, Chapman, strangely enough, was still living when Triple Cross was being filmed, and Young badly wanted him as his technical advisor. However, French authorities wouldn't allow Chapman into the country because, for reasons that were never really ascertained, he had once kidnapped the sultan of Morocco. In his autobiography, In Spite of Myself, Christopher Plummer makes the film shoot for Triple Cross sound more like a luxurious vacation than work. He was absolutely smitten with Young, his family, and their good friend, Lady Annie Orr-Lewis, who, Plummer recalled, constantly carried a Shih Tzu who she referred to as "My Little Sh*t." He also appreciated being housed at the old George V hotel because its long bar always featured a string of high-class call girls of various nationalities. Initially, however, it seemed as if the Triple Cross production would never get off the ground. "The first news I received on arrival," Plummer wrote, "was that the film had been cancelled - that the backers had not only reneged on the deal but had been thrown in jail. This sort of thing I learned was to be occasionally expected on a Terry Young film. He would try to make deals with anyone no matter how untrustworthy, living on the edge as he did, but always cunningly managed to get things fixed in the long run. The online producer told me, 'Just stay close to the hotel - eat and drink all you want. It'll be covered, I promise.'" Sure enough, after a week, a mysterious woman named Madame Gouin fronted the needed money. From there, it was well-appointed train journeys for Plummer, with 90-minute lunch breaks during the shoot, an unheard of luxury on most movies. "With Terry as maestro," he wrote, "the life surrounding the work was just as important if not more so, and everything and everyone involved had to be attractive. Terry was a beauty snob, may God rest his soul!" Director: Terence Young Producer: Jacques-Paul Bertrand Screenplay: Rene Hardy (based on the book The Eddie Chapman Story by Frank Owen) Editor: Roger Dwyre Cinematographer: Henri Alekan Music: Georges Garvarentz Art Direction: Rene Renoux, Tony Roman Sound: Jacques Lebreton Makeup: Marie-Madeleine Paris Cast: Christopher Plummer (Eddie Chapman), Romy Schneider (The Countess), Trevor Howard (Freddie Young), Gert Frobe (Col. Steinhager), Claudine Auger (Paulette), Yul Brynner (Baron Von Grunen), Georges Lycan (Leo), Jess Hahn (Commander Braid). C-126m. by Paul Tatara

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Copyright length: 140 min. Location scenes filmed in France and England. Released in France as Triple Cross in December 1966; running times: 140 & 135 min; in Great Britain in September 1967; running time: 126 min. Alternative French title: La fantastique histoire vraie d'Eddie Chapman.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1966

Based on a true story

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1966