Picks and Pans Review: The Passage

updated 04/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EST

The only excuse for this is that Anthony Quinn checks off one more category on his ethnic-roles list by portraying a Basque. (Only 15 or 16 more and he will have done the whole U.N.) He plays a shepherd guiding the family of a scientist (played in surly fashion by James Mason) out of occupied World War II France, through the Pyrenees into Spain. They are pursued by a tirelessly fiendish SS officer who says things like "they hate me because I wear a black uniform." In that hopeless role, Malcolm McDowell overacts outrageously. In a similar 1940 movie, James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan tried to ski away from the Nazis, two of whom were youthful Robert Young and Robert Stack. That film was called The Mortal Storm; stay home and watch for it on the Late Show. (R)

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