Major John SmithMajor John Smith is the commander of the rescue-team. He is fearless, cold-blooded, calculating - and nothing can keep him from completing his mission. Facts
Name: John Smith
Actor: Richard Burton
Role description:Major role
First appearance: 00:03:15 (In the airplane)
John Smith is from Wales and got his military training in the Brittish Life Guard - Black Watch. Before the war, he studied at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
Smith is employed by Secret Service as a double-agent and he has given Germany and Italy unuseful information for a long time. Colonel Wyatt Turner thinks that he is the best agent of Secret Service.
He has a relationship to Mary Ellison, who also is a Secret Service agent. In the picture you might feel that he doesn't care much about her, but in the novel he is ready to break an order from Vice Admiral Rolland to get Mary out of the castle. Comments
Having gotten the role and actually the whole story written for himself, it only comes natural that Richard Burton, in a word, is Smith and his performance is completely outstanding. In your mind as well as in the minds of the movie characters he is the natural leader and you get the same respect for him as do anyone in the picture. Opposite from Lieutenant Schaffer, Smith isn't only cold-blooded, but also clever and fast-minded. Much of the atmosphere in the picture comes from Burton's "integrating authority", and maybe that is a reason why this 30 year old movie production still attracts new fans today.
[When he proves, with false evidence, that he is the German Major Johann Schmidt, and that Thomas, Berkeley and Christiansen are Brittish spies. The scene from the Golden Hall is definitely one of the best part of the movie.]
Major John Smith: You enjoyed your trip?
Mary Ellison: Horrorly. I nearly froze to death in that damned plane. Why couldn't you supply hot water bottles and an electric heated suit? I thought you loved me.
Major John Smith: I can't help what you think.
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