Man in the Middle (film)
|Man in the Middle|
|Directed by||Guy Hamilton|
|Box office||$1,000,000 (US/ Canada)|
Man in the Middle is a 1963 film, starring Robert Mitchum and directed by Guy Hamilton. The movie, set in World War II India, tells the story of the murder trial of an American Army officer who killed a British soldier. Mitchum plays Lieut. Col. Barney Adams, who has been assigned as the accused man's defense counsel. The film is also known as The Winston Affair, the title of the novel the film was based on, which was written by Howard Fast.
Recovering from a wound in combat, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Barney Adams (Mitchum), a career officer with a law degree and limited trial experience, is assigned to defend Lt. Winston (Wynn), an American officer who has confessed to the murder of a British staff sergeant in India. The commanding general (Sullivan) informs Adams that the army would like the case to quietly go away, and that he should put up as little defense as possible, so that the court can move to a quick conviction. Adams at first acquiesces in that approach.
While investigating the crime, Adams discovers that an army psychiatrist, Dr. Kaufman (Wanamaker), has found that Winston was an insane, paranoid racist, but his report had been suppressed by the army. Adams is torn between giving Winston a vigorous defense on an insanity plea, or letting the army convict and hang him for the sake of U.S.-British relations. His commanding offer makes a thinly-veiled effort to convince Adams to choose the latter.
Encouraged by a nurse (Nuyen), Adams belatedly seeks Kaufman's testimony after he has been transferred to another post. When Kaufman dies in a jeep accident racing to the courtroom to testify, Adams obtains the testimony of the British Army Major Kensington (Howard), who attests to Winston's insanity. Winston's fate is not made clear at the end, however a ranting outburst he makes suggests the court will find him insane. It is insinuated that the efforts by Adams to defend him have damaged his own Army career, perhaps denying him the promotion and advancement he was due for. Nonetheless, Adams has no regrets, saying, "Just because you can't lick 'em doesn't mean you have to join 'em."
- Robert Mitchum as Lieutenant Colonel Barney Adams
- France Nuyen as Kate Davray
- Barry Sullivan as General Kempton
- Trevor Howard as Major Kensington
- Keenan Wynn as Lieutenant Winston
- Sam Wanamaker as Major Kaufman
- Alexander Knox as Colonel Burton
- Gary Cockrell as Lieutenant Morse
- Robert Nichols as Lieutenant Bender
- Michael Goodliffe as Colonel Shaw
- Errol John as Sergeant Jackson
- Paul Maxwell as Major Smith
- Lionel Murton as Captain Gunther
- Russell Napier as Colonel Thompson
- Jared Allen as Captain Dwyer
- David Bauer as Colonel Mayburt
- Edward Underdown as Major Wyclif
- Howard Marion-Crawford as Major Poole
- "Big Rental Pictures of 1964", Variety, 6 January 1965 p 39. Please note this figure is rentals accruing to distributors not total gross.
- Man in the Middle at the Internet Movie Database
- New York Times review by Bosley Crowther, March 5, 1964