Not even director Joesph Losey, who successfully adapted the oblique works of Harold Pinter for the screen, could breathe much life into this leaden allegorical tale, in which Robert Shaw represents brute instinct and Malcolm McDowell stands in for reason. They've escaped from an unnamed
prison and are fleeing for their lives through an unnamed desert, chased by a helicopter doing the bidding of an unnamed authority. They run; the chopper pursues; they run some more. Eventually, they're pinned down in a field and a deadly confrontation ensues. This awkward riff on Kafka's themes
and method (from which Kafka's wit is entirely absent) is nevertheless nearly redeemed ...