MOZAMBIQUE. Towers of London / British Lion Films, UK, 1964. Steve Cochran, Hildegarde Neff, Paul Hubschmid, Vivi Bach, Martin Benson. Director: Robert Lynn.

   At least the outdoor scenery is good. That’s basically my assessment of this Harry Alan Towers production about organized crime in Portuguese Africa. Filmed on location, Mozambique is a spy thriller that simply falls flat in producing any sense of intrigue or excitement.

   Even the film’s premise – a Lisbon colonial police inspector enlists Brad Webster (Cochran), a down and out airline pilot, to infiltrate a criminal enterprise in Portugal’s African colony – comes across as contrived. It’s as if someone wanted to film a movie in Mozambique and then came up with a rationale to do so. There are some beautiful women singing in a nightclub, a midget assassin who hides in a suitcase, a lecherous Arab sheik, and various Portuguese and European schemers afoot. But none of it adds up to very much. It’s not altogether without its charms, but it’s hardly a James Bond movie.

   There is one notable aspect to this rather middling affair that is worth mentioning. And that’s Steve Cochran, who appeared in such crime films as White Heat (1949) and Storm Warning (1951) (reviewed here ). Mozambique not only was one of the few films in which Cochran was billed as the leading man, it was also his final film. Cochran, who was also known for his dalliance with Hollywood women such as Mamie van Doran, died on his yacht off the coast of Guatemala the same year the film was released.