The Deceivers

DirectorIrwin Allen
StarringRed Buttons
Barbara Eden
Cedric Hardwicke
Based on a story byJules Verne

This is a weak adaptation of a Jules Verne story. As such, it really is a product of its era - there was a whole raft of Jules Verne movies made about the same time. Unfortunately, weak characterisation, overly sanitised sets and a rather fanciful story all add up to a less than compelling cinematic experience.

The connection with the Empire is the secret mission requested by the Prime Minister for professor Ferguson in his newly adapted balloon. The profession is supposed to deviate off his map making mission of East Africa to detour to West Africa to claim land for the British Crown before unscrupulous slave traders are able to do so.

This fanciful storyline manages to hit most of the African Continent's stereotypes of the 1960s if not of those of the Nineteenth Century. Throw in a left-handed performing monkey and a Hollywood view of African nature and you kind of know the territory that you are entering.

The film is not completely disastrous - it does have an innocent charm of its own - but do not expect to learn much of anything from this particular movie.

Buy this DVD at: Amazon

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by Stephen Luscombe