Sol Madrid


1h 30m 1968
Sol Madrid

Brief Synopsis

An undercover narcotics agent tries to track a Mafia chief.

Film Details

Genre
Action
Crime
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 7 Feb 1968
Production Company
Gershwin-Kastner Productions; Hall Bartlett Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Fruit of the Poppy by Robert Wilder (New York, 1965).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Harry Mitchell has absconded with $500,000 of Mafia leader Riccione's money, and Dano Villanova is assigned to kill him before he reveals any organization secrets to the police. At the same time, Sol Madrid, an undercover narcotics agent, begins a search for Mitchell, hoping to persuade him to testify against the Mafia. Madrid finds Villanova's former mistress, Stacey Woodward, who has half the stolen money, and learns from her that Mitchell is in Acapulco. Threatening to inform Villanova of her whereabouts, Madrid forces Stacey to accompany him to Mexico and there she introduces him to both Mitchell and Emil Dietrich, a leading supplier of heroin who has also recently broken with the Mafia. Posing as a border runner, Madrid works his way into Dietrich's confidence despite Mitchell's skeptical objections. With the assistance of Mexican agent Jalisco, Madrid spirits Stacey away in a yacht while he baits the final trap for the narcotics smugglers. But, before he can execute his final plan, she is kidnaped by Villanova and forcibly turned into a dope addict. Then, after Mitchell has been murdered, Madrid enlists local police assistance and learns that Jalisco is a Mafia payoff man. After shooting Dietrich, Madrid corners Jalisco, forces him to reveal Villanova's hiding place, and then kills him. Finally, Madrid tracks down Villanova in a dense jungle and disposes of him also; and in a hospital bed Stacey slowly recovers from her addiction.

Film Details

Genre
Action
Crime
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 7 Feb 1968
Production Company
Gershwin-Kastner Productions; Hall Bartlett Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Fruit of the Poppy by Robert Wilder (New York, 1965).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Sol Madrid


After the success of the James Bond film series, movies of the sixties were crawling with super-spies and secret agents. It wouldn't be long before filmmakers stopped pitting the agents against unbelievable maniacs bent on world domination and turned them instead against more realistic criminals like drug czars or organized crime lords. One such film is Sol Madrid (1968), which was titled The Heroin Gang in England.

David McCallum plays Sol Madrid, an undercover agent who wants to stop Mafia trafficking in the lethal white powder. The problem is that his only lead to the big crime boss is the kingpin's former girlfriend Stella Stevens. When McCallum heads to Mexico he runs into police officers, double-crossing smugglers, murderers and others who may or may not hinder his mission. Among the co-stars crossing his path are Ricardo Montalban, Telly Savalas, Rip Torn and Pat Hingle.

Sol Madrid is based on the novel Fruit of the Poppy by Robert Wilder, who also saw Hollywood make film versions of his two other books, Written on the Wind (1956) and Flamingo Road (1949). The studio, MGM, obviously saw the potential for another series character and enlisted Scottish actor McCallum, then appearing as ultra-cool Russian spy Ilya Kuryakin on the hit TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. In an interview during filming, McCallum noted, "Sol Madrid, the character I play, is with the undercover vice squad, a distasteful job. I think we achieve reality with this film."

McCallum worked on the film during the day and at night recorded an album with cult producer David Axelrod. (McCallum's father was a professional violinist with the London Philharmonic who even played on the Beatles' original recording of "A Day in the Life.") Though reports at the time indicated that McCallum's album would include several Beatles covers, the finished album, Music: A Bit More of Me, has only one Lennon-McCarthy tune ("Michelle"), though it does have a version of the Batman theme and a song called "The Edge" that was later used by Dr. Dre for "Next Episode." MGM Records released a soundtrack album for Sol Madrid featuring the score by Lalo Schifrin with such tracks as "The Golden Trip," "Villanova's Villa," "The Burning Candle" and "Stacey's Bolero."

Producer: Hall Bartlett
Director: Brian G. Hutton
Screenplay: David Karp
Art Direction: Carl Anderson, George W. Davis
Cinematography: Fred Koenekamp
Editing: John McSweeney
Music: Lalo Schifrin
Principal Cast: David McCallum (Sol Madrid), Stella Stevens (Stacey Woodward), Telly Savalas (Emil Dietrich), Rip Torn (Dano Villanova), Pat Hingle (Harry Mitchell), Paul Lukas (Capo Riccione), Michael Ansara (Captain Ortega), Michael Conrad (Scarpi).
C-87m. Letterboxed.

by Lang Thompson
Sol Madrid

Sol Madrid

After the success of the James Bond film series, movies of the sixties were crawling with super-spies and secret agents. It wouldn't be long before filmmakers stopped pitting the agents against unbelievable maniacs bent on world domination and turned them instead against more realistic criminals like drug czars or organized crime lords. One such film is Sol Madrid (1968), which was titled The Heroin Gang in England. David McCallum plays Sol Madrid, an undercover agent who wants to stop Mafia trafficking in the lethal white powder. The problem is that his only lead to the big crime boss is the kingpin's former girlfriend Stella Stevens. When McCallum heads to Mexico he runs into police officers, double-crossing smugglers, murderers and others who may or may not hinder his mission. Among the co-stars crossing his path are Ricardo Montalban, Telly Savalas, Rip Torn and Pat Hingle. Sol Madrid is based on the novel Fruit of the Poppy by Robert Wilder, who also saw Hollywood make film versions of his two other books, Written on the Wind (1956) and Flamingo Road (1949). The studio, MGM, obviously saw the potential for another series character and enlisted Scottish actor McCallum, then appearing as ultra-cool Russian spy Ilya Kuryakin on the hit TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. In an interview during filming, McCallum noted, "Sol Madrid, the character I play, is with the undercover vice squad, a distasteful job. I think we achieve reality with this film." McCallum worked on the film during the day and at night recorded an album with cult producer David Axelrod. (McCallum's father was a professional violinist with the London Philharmonic who even played on the Beatles' original recording of "A Day in the Life.") Though reports at the time indicated that McCallum's album would include several Beatles covers, the finished album, Music: A Bit More of Me, has only one Lennon-McCarthy tune ("Michelle"), though it does have a version of the Batman theme and a song called "The Edge" that was later used by Dr. Dre for "Next Episode." MGM Records released a soundtrack album for Sol Madrid featuring the score by Lalo Schifrin with such tracks as "The Golden Trip," "Villanova's Villa," "The Burning Candle" and "Stacey's Bolero." Producer: Hall Bartlett Director: Brian G. Hutton Screenplay: David Karp Art Direction: Carl Anderson, George W. Davis Cinematography: Fred Koenekamp Editing: John McSweeney Music: Lalo Schifrin Principal Cast: David McCallum (Sol Madrid), Stella Stevens (Stacey Woodward), Telly Savalas (Emil Dietrich), Rip Torn (Dano Villanova), Pat Hingle (Harry Mitchell), Paul Lukas (Capo Riccione), Michael Ansara (Captain Ortega), Michael Conrad (Scarpi). C-87m. Letterboxed. by Lang Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in and around Acapulco.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 1968

Released in United States Summer June 1968