That logic (or lack of it) is much in display in Huston's film of The Mackintosh Man (written by Walter Hill),* a spy thriller the director made in Britain and Malta with Paul Newman. In it, a British Intelligence agent (Newman) is framed and sent to prison, in order to infiltrate a criminal organization. But, unknown to him, the deceit goes much deeper, as his superior, Mackintosh (Harry Andrews), is using the mission to ferret out a leak in information in the British government. Once the agent, named Rearden, is sprung from prison by the conspirators, overseen by an enigmatic figure named "Mr. Brown" (Michael Hordren). Rearden and another prisoner, Blake (Ian Bannen), are spirited away to an unknown location, drugged and held until the police activity surrounding the prison break cools down. The escape causes a row in Parliament, led by a law-and-order lord, Sir George Wheeler (James Mason), who rails against the bumbling way in which the prisons and the law are handling it, until he is persuaded to cool down the rhetoric by Mackintosh, himself.
Things get complicated when Mackintosh is run down in the street, and the operation taken over by his deputy, Mrs. Smith (Dominique Sanda), who is now charged with a double mission—Rearden's and the murder of Mackintosh.
Huston barely takes any of this seriously, even if Newman plays it straight, and Sanda—well, it's hard to tell if she plays it at all, her character being so enigmatic as to be undecipherable. But, it's all staged well (and photographed by the legendary Oswald Morris), especially a car chase through winding Irish country roads that looks dangerous as Hell, and Huston ends on a typically ambiguous note. But, he's made much better films about duplicity and duty (as has Hill, for that matter), and this one feels like a minor effort before tackling much more ambitious projects. His next film would be his long-planned adaptation of The Man Who Would Be King.