Retro Review: Avoid 1977’s ‘The Domino Principle’ At All Costs


Lockdown gives movie buffs the chance to check out the more obscure titles he/she may not have got around to watching. For me one such picture was 1977’s The Domino Principle, directed by Stanley Kramer (The Defiant Ones, Judgement at Nuremberg).


The Domino Principle - Trailer


A conspiracy thriller about a jailbird assassin sprung to sanction a high value target, The Domino Principle is a total dog’s breakfast from the word go. Even before the opening credits, we are treated to a voice-over playing over news footage of war/societal breakdown (obviously ‘inspired’ by 1974’s far superior Parallax View), explaining how everyone in the world is being manipulated by ‘The Man’.

All delivered in a plummy English accent by the late Patrick Allen (Night of the Generals, The Wild Geese), well-known in the UK for advertising Barratt Homes, introducing Two Tribes by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and spoofing himself on Vic Reeves’ TV comedy shows.




Classic Ads: Barratts with Patrick Allen

Two Tribes (Protect & Survive) FGTH.wmv

The plot itself makes no sense and drags on and on, wasting the considerable talents of Gene Hackman, Richard Widmark, Eli Wallach and poor Candice Bergen, who’s forced to wear a terrible Shelly Winters-style wig.



All involved with the movie justly disowned it. If only I had conducted some cursory research before watching, I would have saved 97 minutes of my life that could surely have been devoted to better things. Such as watching paint dry, or attempting to move a cup via telekinesis.

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Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'