Man without a country Marlon Brando is
dispatched on secret mission to sabotage a German freighter hauling precious
rubber to Axis ports. This was,surprisingly for 1965 and 20th Fox,
black-and-white and 1.85. There was also monkeying with the title post-release
so as to juice interest (Saboteur: Code Name Morituri), but getting back an
extravagant $5.9 million spent on the negative was past hope in a market
crowded with spy and impossible mission yarns. Morituri took only three million
in worldwide rentals and posted a $4.1 million loss, Fox's worst for that year
next to The Agony and The Ecstasy. Was Brando a right fit for action/adventure?
He's too genteel in SS officer disguise, despite being told by command officer
Trevor Howard that he must display cruelty in accord with enemy habit. Morituri
is notches below war exploit done elsewhere, the 60's being a boon forthese
what with WWII veterans willing to leave their TV's now and again to buy a
ticket. An Operation Crossbow or Von Ryan's Express could thus click, but
Morituri by its very title was non-specific as to setting and theme, dooming
the show to arid attendance.