A Different Loyalty

  • 2003
  • 1 HR 36 MIN
  • R
  • Historical, Romance, Thriller

Historical claptrap that provides a globe-trotting match-up for two stars whose romantic chemistry never combusts, this second-tier thriller explores English upper-crust Communism during the 1960s. In 1951, two British-born turncoats fled to Russia and MI-6 always suspected it had been infiltrated by a high-level mole who facilitated these dual escapes....read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Historical claptrap that provides a globe-trotting match-up for two stars whose romantic chemistry never combusts, this second-tier thriller explores English upper-crust Communism during the 1960s.

In 1951, two British-born turncoats fled to Russia and MI-6 always suspected

it had been infiltrated by a high-level mole who facilitated these dual escapes. A decade later, UK agent Andrew Darcy (Julian Wadham) is still haunted by this intelligence failure. Andrew’s former crony, Leo Cauffield (Rupert Everett), has ditched espionage in favor of journalism and is stationed in Beirut, part of a busy beehive of foreign correspondents in Lebanon. His colleagues include US reporter Sally Tyler (Sharon Stone), whose peripatetic husband, Paul Tyler (John Bourgeois), ignores her plea to accept a permanent post. Lonely and struggling to both do her job and raise two children in a foreign country, the oft-

abandoned Sally is drawn to the widowed Leo, who also has a daughter. Leo

and Sally share the desire to settle down and she eventually gets an amicable divorce from Paul. The blissfully happy Sally is unprepared for the day Leo disappears, and Andrew offers Sally a supportive shoulder while persuing his own agenda: to unmask Leo as a Soviet plant. Living under a cloud of suspicion,

Sally crusades to clear Leo's name, even after he turns up in Moscow! Sally travels to Russia negotiate a deal approved by Andrew: a pledge of immunity in exchange for Leo’s testimony. But Leo is in fact a committed Communist, and Sally is stunned when he refuses. Perhaps his roots in his adoptive country are more entrenched than his commitment to Sally, a possibility she's forced to consider as Leo keeps stalling his return trip.

Director Marek Kanievska's directing debut, ANOTHER COUNTRY (1984) — which also starred Everett — dealt more effectively with the phenomenon of privileged Englishmen and woman embracing the classless tenets of Communism, as did BBC-TV’s "Cambridge Spies." Neither Kanievska nor the production designer show much interest in evoking the 1950s or '60s time periods, and the make-up department sabotages Stone by giving her a MOMMIE DEAREST-style look.

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  • Released: 2003
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Historical claptrap that provides a globe-trotting match-up for two stars whose romantic chemistry never combusts, this second-tier thriller explores English upper-crust Communism during the 1960s. In 1951, two British-born turncoats fled to Russia… (more)

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