Blacklisted in America, director Jules Dassin won success with his French heist film Rififi (1954); ten years later he transplanted the idea from a shadowy Paris to a sunlit Istanbul, replacing the filigreed noir of the earlier film with comedy and Technicolor. Maximilian Schell and Melina Mercouri are a couple of jewel thieves with designs on a jeweled dagger in a Turkish museum; they trick a hapless Anglo-Egyptian tour guide (Peter Ustinov, who's marvelous) into smuggling their weaponry into Turkey, but he's busted by customs and sent back to spy on them. The story never quite adds up, but with help from Ustinov and Robert Morley, Dassin conjures up a superior light entertainment. 120 min.
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