Many people believe that Sean Connery made his movie debut in a 1958 film entitled Another Time, Another Place, the poster of which prominently displayed the words "Introducing Sean Connery". In truth Connery had already done supporting acting in a handful of small films, one of which was Action Of The Tiger. The actual star of Action Of The Tiger is Van Johnson, sorely miscast as a tough-talking but soft-at-the-centre pirate smuggling political prisoners out of post-war Albania. There are rumours that the leading female, Martine Carol, suggested on several occasions during the shoot that Connery himself would have been better in the lead role it's certainly an interesting notion, and the more one cringes at the embarrassing efforts of Johnson the more one wishes someone had listened to her advice!
Shortly after World War Two, blonde bombshell Tracy (Martine Carol) approaches a pirate/mercenary/adventurer named Carson (Van Johnson) with a dangerous assignment. Her brother is trapped behind the Iron Curtain in Albania, and she is keen to get him out while he is still alive. Carson initially hates the job but for all his hard words and stubborn protests, his weakness for beautiful women and ready money gets the better of him. After numerous close calls, Carson and Tracy find the endangered brother but learn that he is now blind. They strike out across rugged Albanian wilderness in the direction of the Greek border, but their quest is made doubly difficult when they are persuaded to take a bunch of kids with them. Seems the kids' parents are scared that their youngsters will face a future of poverty, torture and persecution under the Communist rule and want Carson to smuggle them to safety. The road to the border is fraught with danger, so much so that Carson has to rely on the aid of a passionate freedom fighter named Trifon (Herbert Lom) to negotiate the final few miles.
The film is poorly scripted by Robert Carson, working from a forgotten novel by James Wellard. The action progresses predictably and in uninvolving fashion from one scene to the next, and by the climax one can barely remember what the film was about. Give it a fortnight and you might have forgotten altogether that you've ever seen the film! Johnson, as noted, is not cut out for this kind of tough-guy action role, while Carol ludicrously maintains perfect hair, perfect lipstick and an overall air of glamour, even whilst fleeing from Communist pursuers in the middle of remote Albania! The only actor who successfully crafts a lively and enjoyable characterisation is Lom as the resistance fighter, but he arrives too late in the story and has too small a role to save the film. It is directed, strangely enough, by Terence Young (who would go on to make three of the first four Bond films with Connery), but in this one Young's direction lacks a sense of pace and purpose. Apart from Lom's forlorn efforts, the only other praiseworthy aspect of the film is Desmond Dickinson's pleasant photography which captures the barren landscapes (Spain standing in for Albania) rather spectacularly.