Assignment K (1968)

  • Year: 1968
  • Released: 01 Jun 1968
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Adwords: N/A
  • IMDb:
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  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: N/A
  • Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
  • Runtime: 97 min
  • Writer: Val Guest, Bill Strutton, Maurice Foster
  • Director: Val Guest
  • Cast: Stephen Boyd, Camilla Sparv, Michael Redgrave
  • Keywords: spy,

Assignment K Storyline

Philip Scott (Stephen Boyd), head of a successful toy company, is also secretly the head of a British spy unit. When his cover is blown, enemy agents kidnap his girlfriend to force him to reveal the identities of his operatives.—Daniel Frankham

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Assignment K Movie Reviews

A Business Executive Working for British Intelligence

This film essentially involves a man by the name of “Philip Scott” (Stephen Boyd) using his position as an executive at a toy company as a cover for operating his own independent spy organization to help the British Secret Service in Europe. In this particular case he has been tasked to retrieve some microfilm from sources behind the Iron Curtain which detail Soviet missile technology. To that effect, this requires him to travel to both West Germany and Austria and while there he becomes attracted to a beautiful Swedish woman by the name of “Antonia ‘Toni’ Peters” (Camila Sparv) and while getting better acquainted with her also uses their relationship to further conceal his clandestine activities. What he doesn’t know, however, is that another secret organization has developed suspicions about him and are following his every move with the hope of turning the tables on him to their own advantage as well. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was a rather dull and mundane spy film which seemed to focus too heavily upon quite normal and routine activities. Admittedly, both Stephen Boyd and Camila Sparv performed their roles in a solid manner but the overall lack of action and suspense was much too noticeable and for that reason I have rated this film accordingly. Average.

Meandering spy thriller

Some loving close-ups of Camilla Sparv’s exquisite face, and location filming on the German Alps (in the first half) and London (in the second) are the main assets of this overly meandering, often tedious spy thriller. Genre devotees will probably enjoy the old-school spy gimmicks (microfilms hidden under plasters, messages written with invisible ink, etc.), but the film bogs down too much with the Boyd-Sparv romance, and the story seems to start after the first 30 minutes. It ends with two big plot twists, but these seem to be added just for the sake of a downbeat conclusion. Leo McKern, as the nominal villain of the story, gives the most memorable performance. ** out of 4.


Stephen Boyd made several films during the mid-to late 60’s, which all seem to have “slick” plots in which he portrays a wealthy, sophisticated, cosmopolitan character sporting perfectly coiffed hair. Neither the hairstyle nor the roles seemed to suit him well, and I’ll bet he was vastly relieved to switch to westerns like Shalako and The Man Called Noon in the ’70’s. Assignment K, however, is probably the best of the “smooth hair” movies. He’s a international spy in this one and a lot of the action takes place in a ski resort so the scenery is beautiful and wintry. He and Camilla Sparv play well together and, best of all for Stephen Boyd fans like me, he is on-screen throughout the entire film, no cameos here – a major plus for this movie. Leo McKern, another wonderful character actor, turns up once again as the bad guy. (Remember him as the irascible, but lovable Captain Brandt in Lisa?) Assignment K is fairly fast-paced and somewhat exciting, especially if you enjoy a little romance with your espionage. And the ending will surprise you!