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Written by / 6/01/2021 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

ROD TAYLOR LITERALLY VS WILLIAM SMITH IN 'DARKER THAN AMBER'

Book Cover Darker than Amber Year: 1970 Rates: ***

"And speaking of that... What about that?" is some of the clunky dialogue in Robert Clouse's cinematic venture for pulp author John D. McDonald's beach bum/salvage seller Travis McGee, here played by an aged-to-granite Rod Taylor, more befitting a suit during the cruise ship second half than bulky shirtless on his own boat... a balmy Florida Keys Neo Noir during an intriguing set-up when Taylor's McGee rescues a beautiful blonde dumped off a bridge with weighted ankles...

The kind of colorfully psychedelic counter-culture clashing an otherwise gray-toned detective-style thriller, and especially vivid is the young girl, all open-minded and groovy in Suzy Kendall, who, pretty enough to fall for quickly, there's not enough romantic chemistry to merit McGee such severe depression after her death...

Quickly followed by a contrived resurrection as Kendall plays a different girl, used to trick muscular bleach-blond psycho William Smith: And what DARKER THAN AMBER is known for is the climactic fight between Taylor and Smith that wound up real, captured by director Clouse that landed him Bruce Lee's ENTER THE DRAGON: Which also featured blonde bombshell Ahna Capri who, like Smith and beautiful black actress Janet MacLachlan as well as pinch thug Robert Phillips, isn't given enough screen time in a deliberate b-movie that's more a scattered collection of scenes.

William Smith in DARKER THAN AMBER
Suzy Kendall in DARKER THAN AMBER
Ahna Capri in DARKER THAN AMBER
William Smith in DARKER THAN AMBER
William Smith in DARKER THAN AMBER
Ahna Capri in DARKER THAN AMBER
Chris Robinson n DARKER THAN AMBER
Janet MacLachlan in DARKER THAN AMBER
Ahna Capri in DARKER THAN AMBER
The fake turned real fight between Rod Taylor & William Smith in DARKER THAN AMBER
William Smith in DARKER THAN AMBER
Rod Taylor with Robert Phillips in DARKER THAN AMBER
Janet MacLachlan in DARKER THAN AMBER
Rod Taylor in DARKER THAN AMBER

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