Arms dealers must be fascinating people. The ultimate middle-men, they have to know with whom and what they are dealing with at all times. They must possess a thorough knowledge of geopolitics, be hard-wired to CNN, and possess proverbial cajones the size watermelons.
That makes for a tough business and I always imagine the real thing a dark and sinister character, which is what made Vanessa Redgrave’s portrayal of “Max”, the mysterious arms dealer in the 1996 version of Mission Impossible, so deliciously eeeevil.
For only being on film for about 10 minutes, this dame steals the show. Her gunrunner is posh and elegant, wily and charming. Her verbal sparring with IMF agent Ethan Hunt is nothing more than hot, but not for one second do you suspect anything other than the original Iron Maiden lurking beneath the pearls and cashmere.
The interesting part is that what Max is doing is not technically illegal in most countries unless you are skirting import/export laws or UN issues sanctions. All the more reason to remain anonymous and know who you are working with at all times.
And ever seductive until the bitter end when she is nabbed by American authorities, Max positively purrs “I’m sure we can find something I have that you need.”
Max should hold a Master Class on the art of being a killer dame.