The Human Factor (1975)

R | 96 mins | Drama | 12 November 1975

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Producer:

Frank Avianca

Cinematographer:

Ousama Rawi

Editor:

Alan Strachen

Production Designer:

Peter Mullins
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HISTORY


       According to a 17 Jan 1975 HR news brief, principal photography was scheduled to begin on 3 Mar 1975 and last for six weeks. Locations included Naples, Rome, and the Isle of Capri in Italy, as well as London, England.
       The Human Factor was director Edward Dmytryk's final film. Dmytryk was one of the “Hollywood Ten” who were cited for contempt of Congress in 1947 by the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to state if they were or ever had been members of the American Communist party. However, Dmytrk testified in 1951 that he had been a Communist party member from 1944 to 1945, and the blacklist was lifted.

      The following written statement appears ahead of end credits: “Whomsoever cause malice to mother with child, he shall be surely punished according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But should death be caused due to said malice then though shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” This quote comes from Exodus 21: 22-25.

              End credits include the statement: "The Producers would like to thank the officers and men of the Allied Forces Southern Europe for their help and co-operation in the making of this motion picture together with the following companies: Bishops Food Stores Limited; Sageway Limited; Mattesons Meats; Paris and Feen Limited; Incotern Limited; Zoom Television Limited; Robert A. Jewison Limited; Peabody Foods Limited." ... More Less


       According to a 17 Jan 1975 HR news brief, principal photography was scheduled to begin on 3 Mar 1975 and last for six weeks. Locations included Naples, Rome, and the Isle of Capri in Italy, as well as London, England.
       The Human Factor was director Edward Dmytryk's final film. Dmytryk was one of the “Hollywood Ten” who were cited for contempt of Congress in 1947 by the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to state if they were or ever had been members of the American Communist party. However, Dmytrk testified in 1951 that he had been a Communist party member from 1944 to 1945, and the blacklist was lifted.

      The following written statement appears ahead of end credits: “Whomsoever cause malice to mother with child, he shall be surely punished according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But should death be caused due to said malice then though shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” This quote comes from Exodus 21: 22-25.

              End credits include the statement: "The Producers would like to thank the officers and men of the Allied Forces Southern Europe for their help and co-operation in the making of this motion picture together with the following companies: Bishops Food Stores Limited; Sageway Limited; Mattesons Meats; Paris and Feen Limited; Incotern Limited; Zoom Television Limited; Robert A. Jewison Limited; Peabody Foods Limited." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 1975
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 1975
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 1975
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
12 Nov 1975
Section IV, p. 14.
New York Times
20 Nov 1975
p. 50.
Variety
5 Nov 1975
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Frank Avianca Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Processing by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Ward supv
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Published and rec by
in their Rome [Italy] Studios
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup supv
Hairdressing supv
Hairdressing supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod controller
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc mgr
Process projection
Film transport supplied by
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The "Human" Factor
Release Date:
12 November 1975
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 12 November 1975
New York opening: 19 November 1975
Production Date:
3 March--mid April 1975 in Italy and London, England
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

John Kinsdale, a computer expert working for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while living in Naples, Italy, receives a telephone call from his wife announcing she is interviewing Pidgeon, a young woman with an American accent, for a cleaning position. Later, he returns home to find his family has been slaughtered. After the funeral, Kinsdale loads a pistol and holds it to his head, but when news of his family’s murder appears on television, he shoots the TV set instead. Days later, Kinsdale is being interviewed by police inspector Enrico Lupe, when they are interrupted by a telephone call from the U.S. Embassy requesting ministry credentials for U.S. investigators to work on Kinsdale’s case. Inspector Lupe tells them the blank credentials are on his desk. While Lupe is not looking, Kinsdale steals a credential. Lupe gives Kinsdale a tour of the police station, and informs him they have found hair strands which identify their suspect as a redheaded male, between the ages of twenty-five and forty–five. Also, the hair contained traces of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen. Kinsdale leaves, returns to his office and asks his friend, Janice Tilman, to retrieve some personal items from his home. He then gets his colleague, Mike McAllister, agree to the use of NATO’s computers to help find his wife’s killer. Their boss, General Fuller, arrives and offers Kinsdale some time off, but Kinsdale insists on continuing to work. Fuller takes Janice Tilman aside and orders her to enter all the data about the murders into Kinsdale’s file and run it through “event probability mode” to determine how Kinsdale will behave. ... +


John Kinsdale, a computer expert working for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while living in Naples, Italy, receives a telephone call from his wife announcing she is interviewing Pidgeon, a young woman with an American accent, for a cleaning position. Later, he returns home to find his family has been slaughtered. After the funeral, Kinsdale loads a pistol and holds it to his head, but when news of his family’s murder appears on television, he shoots the TV set instead. Days later, Kinsdale is being interviewed by police inspector Enrico Lupe, when they are interrupted by a telephone call from the U.S. Embassy requesting ministry credentials for U.S. investigators to work on Kinsdale’s case. Inspector Lupe tells them the blank credentials are on his desk. While Lupe is not looking, Kinsdale steals a credential. Lupe gives Kinsdale a tour of the police station, and informs him they have found hair strands which identify their suspect as a redheaded male, between the ages of twenty-five and forty–five. Also, the hair contained traces of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen. Kinsdale leaves, returns to his office and asks his friend, Janice Tilman, to retrieve some personal items from his home. He then gets his colleague, Mike McAllister, agree to the use of NATO’s computers to help find his wife’s killer. Their boss, General Fuller, arrives and offers Kinsdale some time off, but Kinsdale insists on continuing to work. Fuller takes Janice Tilman aside and orders her to enter all the data about the murders into Kinsdale’s file and run it through “event probability mode” to determine how Kinsdale will behave. Later, Kinsdale and Mike discover that the chemicals in the murderer’s hair match air pollution found in New York City. Hacking into the U.S. immigration database, they generate two names fitting the data Inspector Lupe presented. The two men are Andrew Taylor, who disappeared upon his arrival in Rome, and Edward "Eddy" Fonseca. Kinsdale confronts Fonseca in the Pompeian ruins to learn he is not from New York, but New Haven, Connecticut, and that his hair is obviously dyed. Later, while Joe Carter and another Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent pick up their ministerial credentials from Inspector Lupe, Janice gives Mike McAllister a copy of the computer projections of Kinsdale’s behavior. The next day, Pidgeon and a group of masked men drive a blue van to a house in Rome. Pidgeon identifies herself as an applicant for a cleaning position and is buzzed in. Once inside, she opens the back door, allowing men to enter and kill the family. In the meantime, McAllister discovers encoded computer messages stating that the second ultimatum expired at midnight and retaliation is expected before eight in the morning. As he shows the messages to Kinsdale, news of another American family’s murder is broadcast. Kinsdale uses his stolen ministerial credential to get access to the crime scene. There, he meets George Edmonds, a low level U.S. Embassy worker. After a few rounds of drinks at a nearby bar, Edmonds discloses that the President of the United States received a letter demanding the immediate release of a group of political prisoners and $10 million, or every three days an American family living in Italy will by murdered. Kinsdale travels to Rome to find Andrew Taylor. The next day, McAllister sends him the information he found on the missing Taylor. However, he has second thoughts after reading Kinsdale’s psychological file. Meanwhile, Agent Carter briefs Inspector Lupe on Andrew Baldwin Taylor and Paul Kamal Hamshari, two American radicals and suspected terrorists. This leads Lupe to talk to George Edmonds about tourist Edward Fonseca, believing it was Edmonds who interviewed the man, as he is the only other person with ministry credentials at the embassy. Edmonds describes the man he met and mentions he also had a pass, prompting Lupe to realize it was Kinsdale. When Kinsdale returns to Naples, he is confronted by Mike McAllister, who realizes Kinsdale plans to kill the terrorist and produces a computer prediction that only gives Kinsdale an eight percent chance of success. Later, Mike McAllister tells Kinsdale that the Daily American, a local American newspaper, called to see if he had found a housecleaner he advertised for. Kinsdale realizes the terrorist is targeting victims by answering domestic want ads. Claiming he is surveying the effectiveness of the classified advertisements, Kinsdale learns that the Gerardi family has just made an appointment to talk to a prospective housecleaner. Before Kinsdale can leave, Inspector Lupe arrives to arrest him, but Kinsdale flees in his station wagon. Lupe gives chase, first by car then by foot. However, Kinsdale eludes him by climbing to the top of an apartment building and jumping to another roof. That night, Kinsdale arrives at the Gerardi residence and upon gaining access, pulls a pistol. After disarming Aldo, Gerardi’s hired man, Kinsdale orders everyone to sit on the couch so he can explain the situation. When the doorbell rings, Kinsdale signals for Mrs. Gerardi to answer it. Pidgeon’s suspicions are aroused when Mrs. Gerardi is too afraid to speak, and runs back to her blue van, accidentally dropping her purse. Masked men jump out of the vehicle and open fire, but flee when Kinsdale fires back. Later, Kamal, the leader of the terrorists, screams at Alexander Taylor for being responsible for the Gerardi’s knowing they were coming. Taylor attempts to quiet the big man, but Kamal slams him against a wall and insists they change their tactics. That night, Kinsdale arrives at Janice Tilman’s apartment and falls asleep. He awakens to discover Mike McAllister sitting beside him. McAllister berates Kinsdale for not telling the police about his discoveries, but Kinsdale declares that he will not allow the killers to be imprisoned just so another group can hold the U.S. hostage. He searches Pidgeon’s purse and finds a napkin with the name of a café printed on it. Kinsdale goes to the café, finds the blue van in a garage, and spots Alexander Taylor walking outside. He gets in his car, follows Taylor down an alley, hits him with his car and then beats him bloody. Taylor stabs him with a switchblade knife, but Kinsdale disarms him, then strangles Taylor to death with a steel chain. Bleeding, Kinsdale returns to the garage, breaks into the upstairs apartment and discovers his daughter’s doll. Meanwhile, McAllister has invited Inspector Lupe to the NATO base so he can explain that Kinsdale has found the killers. They are interrupted when an irate Gen. Fuller arrives ranting about Lupe’s presence being a breach of security. Kinsdale telephones McAllister, but hangs up when Fuller gets on the line. He then finds a telephone number written on a piece of paper, but before he can call it, Agent Carter and his assistant jump him. Once they find the stolen ministry credential, they assume Kinsdale is a State Department investigator and give him a ride to the embassy. Back at the base, Kamal, posing as a deliveryman, drives a small truck, with Pidgeon and ten armed men inside. They enter a closed Post Exchange building, kill the janitor and hide. When the exchange opens, they take the customers hostage and order the store manager to deliver a ransom letter to authorities. At the U.S. Embassy, Kinsdale asks a woman to dial the phone number he found. When he discovers it is for the Post Exchange, he steals a car, drives onto the base and crashes through the front windows of the building. He leaps out, shoots a number of terrorists and is wounded, but manages to knock down another killer. He pulls off one of the terrorists' masks to reveal Pidgeon, who spits in his face before he shoots her between the eyes. Another gunman takes aim on Kinsdale, but a female hostage picks up a machine gun and kills the man. Kamal take another hostage, but Kinsdale keeps shooting, forcing Kamal to run outside. Kinsdale follows and guns his wife’s killer down, then falls to his knees. Inspector Lupe and Mike McAllister take the empty pistol from Kinsdale’s hands as he sobs. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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