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The Rhinemann Exchange (1977, TV Mini-series)  rating

Review: written 2008

Wartime subterfuge, retold as an alternative to sleeping tablets

A 70's mini-series telling one of Robert Ludlum's more complex novels, this passes muster, with the then reasonably lavish budget (by TV standards) helping overcome the ravages of age.

Stephen Collins plays an agent caught up in the wartime titular exchange between the Germans and the Americans of gyroscope technology and diamonds. The plot is dense, and the director does not help by making the proceedings rather long winded. Indeed, the pace is languorous at best - however the stellar cast and location shooting help keep your flagging interest going. The music is cheesy and the script clunky, but there is a decent enough story in there to just about make it worth keep watching, despite the director's best efforts to send you to sleep.

It's a two star effort, despite some interesting character actors (John Huston , Claude Akins, Rene Auberjonois for example) Let's face it, the only reason this got a re-Bourne release is because Ludlum's more famous movie trilogy just came to an end.

Still, worth re-watching if you have the patience for over 4 hours worth of 70's mini-series. If you really want to watch some mini-series action with more in the gravitas, production value and style departments, try Winds of War instead, it's a superior effort.

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