After they have created a menu for the Queen of England, four of Europe’s most famous chefs are killed one after another using their very own recipes. Natasha O’Brien is the pastry chef and knows that her name is the last one on the deathlist, so she has a little time to save her life. She turns to her ex-husband Robby Ross, a wealthy fast-food tycoon to support him with his latest project, but then it dawns on her, that he could very well be the murderer.
If history knew any fairness Ted Kotcheff’s exquisite murder menu of a film, with its splendid cast of Robert Morley, George Segal, Jaqueline Bisset and Philippe Noiret would be considered one of the greatest films of the fashionable 70s cinema. After all several directors tried their hand at the ambiguous comedy whodunit. But none of them managed to bring the suspense of Agatha Christie and the black humor of the Ealing-school into such an harmonious union. Everything is presented in just the exact amount – the free flowing dialogues, the witty lines, the European flair, the grizzly details of the murders. All these ingredients are so finely tuned and perfectly balanced that this delicacy of a film truly melts on the tongue. –Oldenburg Film Festival
Born in Toronto, Canada, Ted Kotcheff graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career directing TV drama at age 24 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time becoming the youngest director in the CBC. After two years there he went to live and work in England, directing in television and the theatre.
He twice won the British Emmy for Best Director, the second time for an extraordinary docudrama about a female derelict entitled, “Edna, the Inebriate Woman” episode of “Play for Today” (1970). The film also won the Best Actress and Best Script Award. Kotcheff’s television work in Great Britain was part of the new wave of working-class actors and drama that changed British theatre and television in the late 1950s. His stage successes include the long-running Lionel Bart musical, “Maggie May.” His film career started in England: Tiara Tahiti (1962), a social comedy starring James Mason and John Mills; Life at… read more
The luscious food and witty repartee keep this light-hearted Agatha Christie-esque whodunit easy to digest. Robert Morley, often reduced to caricatures, was given a chance here to twirl his usual broad strokes with greater finesse. Like an aperitif, there isn't much substance, but I genuinely LOLed throughout.