Roger Moore, had great taste in clothes. He did not look good
in the red and yellow wet suits, as Ffolkes, or James Bond.
You can imagine, as a Scottish eccentric, his wardrobe would
be full to overflowing, inspired a little by the clothing worn
by Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, in The Adventures of
North Sea Hijack (released as ffolkes outside the UK and as Assault Force on US TV) is a 1980 British adventure film starring Roger Moore, Lea Brodie, James Mason, Anthony Perkins and Michael Parks. It was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and adapted by Jack Davies from his novel, Esther, Ruth and Jennifer.
This film was a vehicle for both Moore and Perkins to try to escape typecasting. Previously, Moore had been practically typecast as a womanising, happy-go-lucky playboy in such series as The Saint, The Persuaders! and as James Bond. In contrast to those parts, he portrays a bearded, eccentric, arrogant, cat-loving chauvinist with master strategist skills.
Eccentric and cat-loving counter-terrorism consultant Rufus Excalibur ffolkes is asked by Lloyd's of London to develop a contingency plan, should any of the
North Sea oil installations it insures be threatened. Months later, a North Sea supply ship named Esther takes on board a group of men posing as reporters who are to visit the oil production platform Jennifer. The leader of this group, Lou Kramer, hijacks the ship; the gangsters attach limpet mines to the legs of Jennifer and its accompanying oil drilling rig, Ruth, then issue a ransom demand for £25 million to the British government. Esther's crew tries to fight back, but is thwarted by Kramer's vigilance, and two of their number end up dead.
When the British Prime Minister and her staff consult Lloyd's, where both platforms are insured, about providing the ransom, the CEO informs them about ffolkes, and after some initial hesitation he is hired to take out the terrorists and retake the platforms. ffolkes enacts his plan by traveling to Jennifer as the aide of Admiral Brindsen, who was tasked by the Prime Minister to supervise the operation. With Ruth out of Esther's sight, ffolkes first asks the admiralty to prepare a fake explosion in order to distract Kramer from blowing up Ruth and to buy them more time, then arranges for having Brindsen and himself brought aboard the supply ship to take out the terrorist leaders from within while his men board from underwater. However, Kramer distrusts ffolkes and has him removed from Esther.
With his original plan thus upset, ffolkes persuades the Prime Minister to have the ransom helicopter drop off a bomb on Esther in case his team fails to take out Kramer's gang in time. Then he approaches the ship from underwater, and despite some mishaps he manages to thwart the activation of the detonators, leaving Kramer for dead, and prevent the bomb drop on Esther. Kramer, mortally wounded, makes one last attempt to blow up Jennifer, but is stopped by ffolkes and dies. Following the successful conclusion of the mission, ffolkes is rewarded for his service with three kittens named after Esther, Ruth and Jennifer.
- Roger Moore as Rufus Excalibur ffolkes
- Lea Brodie as Sanna
- James Mason as Admiral Brindsen
- Anthony Perkins as Kramer
- Michael Parks as Shulman
- David Hedison as King
- Jack Watson as Olafsen
- George Baker as Fletcher
- Jeremy Clyde as Lord Privy Seal Tipping
- David Wood as Herring
- Faith Brook as Prime Minister
- Anthony Pullen Shaw as Ackerman
- Philip O'Brien as Webb
- John Westbrook as Dawnay
- Jennifer Hilary as Sarah
- John Lee as Phillips
RELEASE & RECEPTION
The film was a commercial disappointment. It was released as North Sea Hijack in the United Kingdom but in the United States and other English-speaking territories it was re-titled ffolkes. When it was first broadcast on American television in 1983, it was renamed Assault Force. In West Germany it was known as Sprengkommando Atlantik (lit. "Demolition Squad Atlantic"). Box office $2,993,772 (US only).
"The film's had so many title changes I've lost count," said Moore. "But everyone seems to like the character I play."
The Guardian said: "as pulp melodramas go, it's quite fun". The Los Angeles Times called it: "a vigorous but lacklustre high-seas adventure... there are lots more conferences than bravura acts of daring... even so, it is ingenious and well crafted." Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel selected the film as one of their "dogs of the year" in a 1980 episode of Sneak Previews. The film hold a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes based on six reviews. Quentin Tarantino called the film Roger Moore's best.
A - Z
LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA - JULES
DISNEY, KIRK DOUGLAS, JAMES MASON
S-03 OPERATION ATLANTIS, 1965 ITALIAN EURO SPY-FI, JOHN
- JASON MOMOA - WARNER BROS. DC STUDIOS 2018
THE LEGEND BEGINS (BBC) NETWORK TV SERIES 2013
THE LOST CITY
THE LOST CONTINENT - MGM 1961
THE LOST EMPIRE, 2001 LIVE ACTION FANTASY, DISNEY
ISLAND: ALISTAIR MACLEAN 1979 THRILLER, ARCTIC HUNT FOR NAZI U-BOAT
WWII & COLD WAR, BEST
TIDE - 1995, DENZEL WASHINGTON, GENE HACKMAN, BUENA VISTA
HORIZON - BP OIL SPILL DISASTER BIOPIC 2016
TOKYO - CARY GRANT
LADY DOWN - 1978 SUBMARINE DEEP SEA RESCUE DRAMA, CHARLTON
AND HIGH WATER - RICHARD WIDMARK
KILLER - 2018, GERARD BUTLER, GARY OLDMAN 2018
STATION ZEBRA - ALISTAIR MACLEAN SUBMARINE ARCTIC THRILLER
1968 ROCK HUDSON, MGM
WIDOWMAKER, HARRISON FORD & LIAM NEESON, 2002,
PARAMOUNT NAT. GEOGRAPHIC
ABIDING CITIZEN - 2009 VIGILANTE ACTION THRILLER, GERARD
BUTLER, JAMIE FOX
SEA HIJACK: ROGER MOORE, JAMES MASON 1980 ADVENTURE, CINEMA
SEVEN & UNIVERSAL
HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER - 1990 US SPY THRILLER (SEAN CONNERY,
ALEC BALDWIN) PARAMOUNT
SPY WHO LOVED ME - 1977, ROGER MOORE AS JAMES BOND 007,
ALBERT R BROCCOLI
INVADERS - LAURENCE OLIVIER
- WWII U-BOAT SUBMARINE DRAMA, THE CAPTURE OF THE ENIGMA
SIEGE - STEVEN SEGAL 1992 THRILLER, USS MISSOURI, NAVY SEAL
DIVE AT DAWN - ERIC PORTMAN, JOHN MILLS
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