Fräulein Doktor reviewed in Monthly Film Bulletin, September 1970, pp. 185-6


Italy/Yugoslavia, 1968                        Director:  Alberto Lattuada


Cert:  AA.  dist:  Paramount. p.c.:  Dino De Laurentiis  Cinematografica (Rome)/Avala Film (Belgrade).  p:  Dino De Laurentiis.  p. sup:  Alfredo Nicolai.  p. manager:  Bianca Lattuada.  2nd Unit d:  Leopoldo Savona.  assistant d:  Marcello Aliprandi, Dusan Dimitrijevic, Dorde Vujovic.  sc:  Duilio Coletti, Stanley Mann, H.A.L. Craig, Vittoriano Petrilli, Alberto Lattuada.  story:  Vittoriano Petrilli.  ph:  Luigi Kuveiller.  col:  Technicolor.  ed:  Nino Baragli. a.d.:  Mario Chiari.  set dec.:  Enzo Eusepi.  sp. effects:  Dusan Piros.  m:  Ennio Morricone.  m.d.:  Bruno Nicolai.  cost:  Maria De Matteis.  titles:  Lardani.  sd:  Dragan Grozdanovic.  l.p.:  Suzy Kendall (Fräulein Doktor), Kenneth More (Colonel Foreman), James Booth (Meyer), Capucine (Dr. Saforet), Alexander Knox (General Peronne), Nigel Green (Colonel Methesius), Roberto Bisacco (Hans Schell), Malcolm Ingram (Cartwright), Giancarlo Giannini (Lt. Hans Ruppert), Mario Novelli (Otto Letemar), Kenneth Poitevin (Lt. Ernst Wiechert), Bernard de Vries (Lt. Wilhelm von Oberdorff), Ralph Nossek (Agent), Michael Elphick (Tom), Olivera Vuco (Marchioness de Haro), Andreina Paul (Doña Elena de Rivas), Silvia Monti (Margarita), Virginia Bell (Doña Julia), Colin Tapley (General Metzler), Gérard Herter (Captain Munster), Walter Williams (General von Hindenburg), John Atkinson (Major Rops), James E. Mishler (General von Ludendorff), Neale Stainton (Sergeant), John Webb (1st Agent), Joan Geary (Landlady), Aca Stojkovic (Chemist), Mavid Popovic (Chaplain), Janez Vrhovec (Belgian Colonel), Bata Paskaljevic and Zoran Linginovic (Wounded English Soldiers), Dusan Bulajic (Colonel Delveaux), Miki Mikovic (Blondel), Dusan Djuric (Aide to Ludendorff).  9,062 ft.  101 mins.  Original running time:  104 mins.  English dialogue.


The First World War.  British Intelligence officer Colonel Foreman is determined to end the career of a clever German spy--known as Fräulein Doktor--who has already engineered the death of Lord Kitchener.  By pressuring Meyer, a captured accomplice of Fräulein Doktor, Foreman learns that she has stolen the formula for a particularly deadly poison gas from its French inventor, Dr. Saforet, and that her Achilles' heel is an addiction to morphine.  He sends Meyer back to Germany as a counter-spy, but Colonel Methesius of German Intelligence blocks the move by convincing Meyer that Fräulein Doktor has outlived her usefulness and must be killed.  Meyer carries out his instructions, unaware that he is playing a part in an elaborate deception designed to convince British Intelligence that Fräulein Doktor is dead.  Foreman is not convinced, however, and soon suspects that Fräulein Doktor is in fact engaged on an important mission, posing as a wealthy Spanish woman organising a Red Cross train--her objective being to steal the plans for a new Allied offensive.  Accompanied by Meyer, he eventually tracks her down after the Germans have used the poison gas in an successful attack.  He is about to arrest her when Meyer shots him, and is then himself shot by German soldiers.  Fräulein Doktor is for the moment victorious, but drugs and an awakening conscience are beginning to take their toll.


Lattuada is well below form with this curiously disjointed revamping of Mademoiselle Docteur (though the resemblance ends with the title).  The trench warfare scenes and the poison gas attack are graphically filmed, but the overall impression is of a phony concoction put together to offend no one and thus secure the international market.  The mixed bag of actors play according to their national conventions, which makes for some disconcerting changes of mood and a  general lack of conviction only exacerbated by the dubbing.  Suzy Kendall emerges quite creditably in the title role, but no one else shows, and the attempt to bring things up to date with drug addiction and a bit of lesbianism rings very hollow.