Title: Gefährliche Spiele / Dangerous Games (international). Produced and shot in Germany, Spain and the UK in 1993. Director: Adolf Winkelmann. Script: Julian Rathbone. Camera: David Slama. Cast: Nathaniel Parker (Tom Cranmer), Gudrun Landgrebe (Inga Mahler), Janna Marangosoff (Laura), Hans-Martin Stier (Brenner), Klaus Lehmann (Herz), Bernd Stegemann, Jeremy Child, Mapi Galan. Producers: Christiane Schautet, Madeleine Remy / Winkelmann Filmproduktion / Dangerous Games GbR, WDR. Running time: 200 minutes Premiere on TV: 27. / 30. November 1994 on ARD (German TV station).

Plot Summary

Swiss industrialist Brenner who traffics in toxic waste into the Ukraine helps himself with criminal means. Infringements, murderous attempts and assassinations are being arranged in a way that the suspicion is cast on an Ukrainian terrorist organization. Tom Cranmer (Nathaniel Parker), ex-agent of the British secret service and employee of a private security company, is working for Brenner as a professional hitman. It is to his advantage that he is being declared dead after a plane crash in Germany and that he can do his work without any identity nor name. Inga Mahler, an attractive woman in her forties, is on her way to her holiday dwelling in the south of France when she becomes a witness of the crash. Cranmer is the only survivor. Being badly burnt and hurt he drags himself to Inga's car and asks her for help. She hides him from the Police and smuggles him over the border to France.

Inga is quite innocent with Cranmer, does not ask him much although she has some hints that should lead her to doubt with this man. She decides to leave him in his status as a nobody and calls him "noman". She is having a love affair with Cranmer, seemingly enjoying that she does not know anything about him, no heavy weights upon her love. For Cranmer it seems to be the first affair with a woman who is not asking for more than his pure presence, he in his own way is fascinated with her. He tells her that he was never allowed to love anyone, just having sexual relationships. After convalesce the hitman takes on new jobs. Over and over again, after his work is done, he finds refuge on Inga's French farm. Every now and then, Laura, Inga's 18year old beautiful and neurotic daughter turns up. A short affair develops between her and her mother's lover. As Laura wants to get closer to Cranmer and is asking him to take her with him to Barcelona, he feels that his identity as a noman is in danger, she will be his next victim. Not having killed Inga, it could mean that Cranmer feels more for her than he is allowed to or simply that her innocence with him is saving her life.

Cranmers next job is leading him to Barcelona, where he is to eliminate the leading Rainbow Fraction with a bomb attack during an international conference. Inga who is gradually beginning to get the connections, heads for the Spanish capital in order to find Cranmer and Laura. She brings in the Police, they suspect a drug problem behind the disappearance of Laura. Just by pure coincidence data from this missing persons case matches with investigations on the bomb attack in Barcelona. Inga guides the Police to Cranmers hiding place. Obviously, the hitman made a mistake with Inga. She is the one that is getting him into trouble, just as he knew before. He is getting killed in a situation where he feels he has nowhere left to run. It remains unclear if he kills himself deliberately or by accident.

General Review

The film lacks tempo and logic if you ask me. The script does a lot of set-jumping, lots of different characters are introduced and vanish off to nowhere plus you have dozens of flash-back scenes that make it hard to follow the storyline. What struck me most was the fact that I never really had the feeling that the characters had left the paper on which they were invented. Most of them are conceptions not more or less. Inga is somewhat the strangest one of all, you won't comprehend any of her actions. Laura simply seems to be crazy. The whole plot around the environmentalists and that huge Swiss company that tries to kill them with the help of Nat's character is - to say the least - silly. The film itself is shot across Europe, the photography is good. The reason why you won't see much of this film on your local TV-program simply is because there are dozens of made-for-TV-movies that have equal storylines or are simply produced somewhat better. We of course watch this film because of Nat and that what makes it all well worth.

Nat Review

A huge role for Nat. And he's quite young in this one, too. If you imagine Nat's looks round about the time of A Village Affair, you will get the picture, right? OK. He has to carry the plot and he tries his best to make sure that the whole thing works. His killer is very thoroughly acted. This is James Bond (yes, Nat's dream) brought down to size. Interesting though that this agent has no glamour at all. He's simply a killer with no or little conscience. Maybe not too surprisingly, around about that time, a new James Bond came to life (Timothy Dalton) in Licence to Kill. Also a very though guy and almost a killer-like persona. Well everyone knows that this "new" bond was rejected by his fans. No wonder if you take a good look at the character of an agent who's able to kill everyone who stands in his way. So if Nat was attracted to this role because he felt like "this is it", he'd better think again. Well, Nat left his visiting card with this one: Nice to look at but some nasty habits. Besides, if you take a good look at the episode A Suitable Vengeance from The Inspector Lynley series, there are is a scene in which Nat looks irritatingly like Bond... guess which one...


The film has never been published as a VHS or as a DVD. Look out for your local TV-program to watch it.

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