I was home from school sick with something that kept me snuffling under a snowdrift of rumpled tissues, and had read every book on my shelf. I read his book in an afternoon, transported to Schloss Adler, an impregnable Nazi fortress in the Bavarian Alps where an American general was held captive. So these action thrillers were the first books I read that filled my head with fantasies of love and courtship. So mine was a lonely passion, deepened in a way by the solitary communion with bosuns, saboteurs and germ warfare specialists. These heroes were all loners, strong and mostly silent. It was written in and set aboard a luxury freighter that is hijacked by pirates smuggling a tactical nuclear weapon.
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Golden Rendezvous Golden Rendezvous the filmmakers dropped the word "The" from the book title is an extreme example of the highs and lows of converting an Alistair MacLean thriller to the big screen. The cast, featuring a few well-known actors and a lot of relative nobodies, turns in strikingly uneven performances. Viewers of this ship-borne adventure get the sensation of being on a posh cruise ship that is sometimes buffeted by large waves, leaving them mildly seasick.
This was only a middling book, with vintage MacLean writing but a somewhat hackneyed plot see my review here. The ship, a converted freighter with luxury cabins in the book, is now a floating casino. The tangential and weak story about a stolen American nuclear device has been skipped. Many new characters are introduced so quickly that it is difficult to keep them all straight. Just when protagonist John Carter has captured the leading bad guys, a team of machine-gun-wielding guerrillas takes over the ship.
But just when the story has reached its apparent denouement — the point where, in the book, the baddies go sailing off to their unexpected doom — the plot changes completely, and dishearteningly. I could only shake my head and wince. In both cases, those changes were clearly for the worse.
The celebrated actor Richard Harris acquitted himself reasonably well as Carter, despite a dreadful Prince Valiant-ish hairstyle.
His romantic moments with Susan seemed unnatural, largely because she looked like she was in her 20s and he struck me as nearing Only later did I discover that Harris was actually in his 40s at that time; Ann Turkel, who played Susan, was in her early 30s; and in fact, they were married in real life!
Just be prepared for a major letdown at the end.
The Golden Rendezvous
Development[ edit ] The novel was originally published in Film rights were bought almost immediately; Laurence Harvey announced he would star and produce along with Daniel Angel. Harris praised Turkel for encouraging him to cut down on his drinking. As the book character spent the remainder of the story incapacitated, the plot continued in much the same way without him.
In Praise of Alistair MacLean and the Male Romance
The schemes by both the criminals and the heroes are just a bit too unbelievable, the romantic bits particulary the outcome feel pasted onto the rest of the plot, and some of the characters are too strongly stereotypical. Having said all that, I still think it read-worthy by anyone who has enjoyed some of his higher-rated works. Campari, a freighter lavishly outfitted to provide passengers the very height of luxury. However, bad omens are besetting the ship: a revolution in the small Caribbean nation where the Campari lies in port; a tragedy causing some passengers to be summoned home, while their places are taken by mysterious newcomers; and even the disappearance of a tactical nuclear missile from an area the ship had just visited.
Plot introduction[ edit ] Aboard the cargo vessel converted into a luxury cruise ship SS Campari somewhere in the Caribbean , all is not well. For Johnny Carter, the Chief Officer , the voyage has already begun badly; a revolution in the small Caribbean nation where the Campari lies in port; a tragedy that causes some passengers to be summoned home, while their places are taken by mysterious newcomers; and even the disappearance of a tactical nuclear missile from an area the ship had just visited. In addition, he suffers from a moody captain and unwanted attention from beautiful young Susan Beresford, traveling with her immensely wealthy family. However, when the Campari sails after a succession of delays attributable to sabotage that he realizes something is seriously wrong. A member of the crew is suddenly missing and the unsuccessful stem-to-stern search only increases tension. Then violence erupts and suddenly the whole ship is endangered by a master criminal whose intention is not a simple hijacking and ransoming of the wealthy hostages on board.