Danger Route (1967): Seth Holt’s Spy Thriller, Starring Richard Johnson and Carol Lynley

Yet another attempt to cash in on the popularity of James Bond movies, Danger Route, the British spy film, directed by Seth Holt, stars Richard Johnson, Carol Lynley, and Diana Dors.

It was based on The Eliminator, a 1966 novel by Andrew Yorke about an assassin named Jonas Wilde, who worked for “The Route,” a government organization based on the Jersey island.  The character appeared in a series of novels.

Grade: C (** out of *****)

Jonas Wilde, a leading British secret agent returns home to the Channel Islands from a mission in the Caribbean and attempts to resign. He is persuaded by superior Tony Canning to undergo one final mission and assassinate a defector, held by Americans. Wilde starts a relationship with Jocelyn.

As part of his mission, Wilde seduces Rhoda, the housekeeper at the house where the scientist is being kept, in order to access the house. He is captured and interrogated by CIA agent Lucinda who tells Wilde that someone is causing British agents to be killed by mistake.

Wilde escapes and goes looking for Canning, who has disappeared. He teams up with Canning’s wife Barbara, heading to the base in the Channel Islands.

Fellow agent Brian Stern tells him that another unit member, Peter Ravenspur, has been murdered. Wilde and Stern then take Ravenspur’s niece Mari aboard Stern’s boat for questioning.

Stern reveals he is a double agent but is killed by Wilde, and Mari, who’s been working for Lucinda, is killed accidentally.

Wilde goes back to London, and upon discovery that girlfriend Jocelyn was working for Stern, he kills her.

In the end, Wilde is told that he’s too valuable to resign.

Richard Johnson (perhaps best known for “The Haunting”) is competently reliable in the lead, and Carol Lynley very pretty, especially when introduced in a bathroom scene.

Director Holt was ill and lost control over shooting an already poorly structured script, problems aggravated by replacing the cameraman in the midst of production, resulting in a commercial flop.

The film was released in the U.S. as double feature with “Attack on the Iron Coast.”

Cast
Richard Johnson as Jonas Wilde
Carol Lynley as Jocelyn
Barbara Bouchet as Marita
Sylvia Syms as Barbara Canning
Gordon Jackson as Brian Stern
Diana Dors as Rhoda Gooderich
Maurice Denham as Peter Ravenspur
Sam Wanamaker as Lucinda
David Bauer as Bennett
Robin Bailey as Parsons
Harry Andrews as Tony Canning