Rogue Male (1976 film)
|Based on||Rogue Male
by Geoffrey Household
|Screenplay by||Frederic Raphael|
|Directed by||Clive Donner|
|Camera setup||Single camera|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Original release||22 September 1976|
Rogue Male is a 1976 British television film starring Peter O'Toole, based on Geoffrey Household's novel Rogue Male. Made by the BBC, it was adapted by Frederic Raphael and directed by Clive Donner, and also stars Alastair Sim, John Standing and Harold Pinter. It was first transmitted on 22 September 1976.
In early 1939, before the start of the Second World War, Sir Robert Hunter (O'Toole) takes aim at Adolf Hitler with a high-powered rifle, but misses when he is spotted and tackled by an SS guard. Captured and tortured by the Gestapo, he is then left for dead, but manages to make his way back to England where, to his shock, he discovers the Gestapo has followed him. Believing that the government would, in all likelihood, turn him over to German authorities, Sir Robert goes underground (literally) to escape his pursuers.
- Peter O'Toole as Sir Robert Hunter
- John Standing as Major Quive-Smith
- Alastair Sim as The Earl
- Harold Pinter as Saul Abrahams
- Michael Byrne as Interrogator
- Mark McManus as Vane
- Ray Smith as Fisherman
- Hugh Manning as Peale
- Robert Lang as Jessel
- Cyd Hayman as Rebecca
- Ian East as Muller
- Philip Jackson as 1st Seaman
- Nicholas Ball as 2nd Seaman
- Maureen Lipman as Freda
- Ray Mort as Gerald
- Michael Sheard as Hitler
- Shirley Dynevor as Eva Braun
- Ivor Roberts as Drake
According to producer Mark Shivas, script editor Richard Broke had the idea of making six TV movie thrillers for the BBC which showed the changing nature of the British hero from 1918 to 1939, with Rogue Male to be the last. Shivas was then working on an adaptation of The Glittering Prizes with writer Frederic Raphael and commissioned Raphael to adapt Rogue Male. Raphael went back to the original novel and ignored the 1941 film version. Shivas felt there were three things any version of Rogue Male had to have: the attempted assassination of Hitler at the beginning of the story, the chase on the London Underground, and the battle underground at the end. Filming took 25 days and involved 29 locations. (Shivas would make two other in the series, She Fell Among Thieves and The Three Hostages.)
Interviewed by the Radio Times for the first screening of the film, Household explicitly acknowledged that he always intended the protagonist's target to be Hitler: "Although the idea for Rogue Male germinated from my intense dislike of Hitler, I did not actually name him in the book as things were a bit tricky at the time and I thought I would leave it open so that the target could be either Hitler or Stalin. You could take your pick."
Some of the filming took place around King's Stag in Dorset and, notably, around the "Green Man" pub.
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