The celebrated Martin Beck (Derek Jacoby) of the Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo novels is back as the Stockholm police lieutenant who is now on the trail of a missing journalist. (The character of Beck also appeared in the 1974 film The Laughing Policeman, with Walter Matthau in the lead role.) Plagued by the evils of alcoholism and the miseries of divorce, the journalist's mental state as well as his motives are questionable from the start. His disappearance in Hungary brings the famous Beck and his powers of thinking into the picture. A few international drug smugglers also appear on the scene, as the story -- with its digs at capitalistic materialism -- unfolds in Stockholm and Budapest. The Hungarian director Peter Basco changes over from comedies to drama with this film, a multinational venture between Swedish, German, and Hungarian filmmakers.
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