The Poppy Is Also a Flower
The Poppy Is Also a Flower is a 1966 ABC made-for-television spy and anti-drug film. It was originally made under the auspices of the United Nations as part of a series of television specials designed to promote the organization's work. The film was directed by Terence Young and stars Yul Brynner, Omar Sharif, Eli Wallach, Angie Dickinson, Senta Berger, Stephen Boyd, Trevor Howard, Rita Hayworth and Marcello Mastroianni. Grace Kelly (as Princess Grace of Monaco) narrates.
|The Poppy Is Also a Flower|
|Directed by||Terence Young|
|Produced by||Euan Lloyd|
|Written by||Jo Eisinger|
Ian Fleming (story)
|Starring||E. G. Marshall|
|Narrated by||Grace Kelly|
|Music by||Georges Garvarentz|
|Distributed by||ABC (US TV broadcast)|
Astral Films (US theatrical)
|80 minutes (TV)|
100 minutes (theatrical)
The film was also known by alternate titles Poppies Are Also Flowers, The Opium Connection, and Danger Grows Wild (in the UK).
In an attempt to stem the heroin trade at the Afghanistan–Iran border, a group of narcotics agents working for the United Nations inject a radioactive compound into a seized shipment of opium, in the hopes that it will lead them to the main heroin distributor in Europe.
In alphabetical order
- Senta Berger as Maxine
- Stephen Boyd as Benson
- Yul Brynner as Col. Salem
- Angie Dickinson as Linda Benson
- Georges Géret as Supt. Roche
- Hugh Griffith as Tribal chief
- Jack Hawkins as Gen. Bahar
- Rita Hayworth as Monique Markos
- Trevor Howard as Sam Lincoln
- Trini López as Himself
- E. G. Marshall as Coley
- Marcello Mastroianni as Insp. Mosca
- Amedeo Nazzari as Capt. Dinonnio
- Anthony Quayle as Capt. Vanderbilt
- Gilbert Roland as Serge Markos
- Harold Sakata as Martin
- Omar Sharif as Dr. Rad
- Barry Sullivan as Chasen
- Nadja Tiller as Dr. Bronovska
- Eli Wallach as "Happy" Locarno
Part of the production of this film took place overseas. Iran was the main scene for many desert and border scenes. The crew spent several weeks on location and the local cinematographers joined the team to accomplish the production. Famous Iranian cinematographers cooperated with this project, including Maziyar Partow.
The film is based on an idea by Ian Fleming, the James Bond creator. Funded in part by a grant from Xerox, it was produced by the United Nations and the stars received a salary of $1. Terence Young left the direction of Thunderball to make the film.
The Poppy Is Also a Flower was the last of four television movies commissioned by the United Nations, to publicise its missions and roles in world peace and diplomacy. The film was originally 80 minutes in length for its ABC telecast, minus commercial time for the 90-minute slot. It was expanded to 100 minutes for a US theatrical release by Astral Films in 1967.
After its television broadcast on ABC in 1966, Eli Wallach won an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of drug kingpin "Happy" Locarno. This was the production's only award.