CLASSIC REEL : The Tamarind Seed
Cast: Julie Andrews, Omar Sharif
Year of Release: 1974
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Plot: While on holiday, a British civil servant meets and falls in love with a Russian agent.
This underrated 70s romantic drama not only paired Dr Zhivago/ Lawrence of Arabia's Omar Sharif and Mary Poppins/ The Sound of Music Julie Andrews- but also served as a comeback for Andrews, plus adding another collaboration with director Blake Edwards- who happened to be her second husband. And don't expect to hear Julie singing a single note all through the movie, this isn't a musical.
Licence to Kill.
The movie also does a good job of showing, not telling; within a few minutes we see Julie Andrews' character- Judith- we learn she's a widow reeling from a painful breakup and is in Barbados to recuperate. She immediately catches the eye of a very attractive Russian, Feodor Sverdlov (Sharif), who tells her he's a military attache when he's actually a spy. Judith's superiors waste no time finding out about her dangerous alliance and warning her about him. Judith is caught between a rock and a hard place while Fedodor constantly leaves us guessing if he's using Judith to get British secrets or he's actually in love with her and wants to defect. A subplot is Judith's boss Jack Loder (Anthony Quayle) who has his hands full seeking to unmask a mole within the British Government and wondering where Judith's loyalties actually lie, her country or her Russian boyfriend. That is actually the least of his problems as the mole he's looking for is right under his nose.
It's an underrated spy thriller that will leave you at the edge of your seat. Some scenes, unfortunately, got dragged but the ending more than makes up for it.
The Tamarind Seed was released the same year as the 9th James Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun.