Synopsis by Bruce Eder
A piece of made-for-television hack work that suddenly became sort of topical 23 years later, with the attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Evening in Byzantium was a two-part made-for-TV feature based very loosely on Irwin Shaw's best-seller. The book involved intrigue and romance at the Cannes Film Festival, but the television producers evidently thought that this did not justify a two-night prime time movie event, so they added a story about Middle Eastern terrorists using the Cannes Film Festival as part of a larger plot to attack the West. Glenn Ford plays Jesse Craig, a down-on-his-luck producer with a film project in mind involving terrorists, who goes to Cannes to raise money and finds himself dealing with his ex-wife (Shirley Jones) and romancing Erin Gray. But before too long, he uncovers a plot by real terrorists to replace commercial airliners in flight (blowing them out of the sky and taking over their authorized flight paths) with specially converted airliners and bomb targets in the United States. Also on hand is Vince Edwards, playing an actor with a radical political agenda, who is alarmed that Ford's proposed film parallels his own terrorist plans; Michael Cole as Ford's associate; Eddie Albert and Gloria De Haven as a couple with ties to the movie business; Harry Guardino as a skeptical American security officer; and Marcel Hillaire as the French police inspector trying to unravel the terrorists plans. It's all very silly, though played very sincerely by most of the cast, and none of the plot described is less plausible than the notion that Glenn Ford and Erin Gray could ignore the 36-year difference in their ages. Evening in Byzantium was originally shown in August of 1978 as part of the syndicated Operation Prime Time programming series, intended to compete with the three networks.
actor, Arabian, audience, criminal, espionage, filmmaker, intimacy, politician, scheme, script, terrorism, festival, film, film-producer, producer [showbiz]