“The Great Swindle” or “Historia de una traición” was Stephen’s second movie with both director Jose Antonio Nieves Conde and actress Marisa Mell. They had all collaborated a few months earlier on the gothic Giallo thriller “Marta” in 1970. The spectacular seaside exteriors were filmed in Asturias, on the north coast of Spain.
“The Great Swindle” has a few Giallo elements as well, but also a mix of deception and a crazy love triangle with a lesbian twist. Stephen’s screen time is more limited than either “Marta” or “Casa Manchada”, but it is a pivotal role and an interesting character. Stephen plays a con artist Arturo who preys on women to gain their trust and eventually blackmail them. Marisa Mell plays a complex character Carla who leads a seemingly double life. She initially falls for Arturo, until she discovers his scheme to blackmail her. Her wish to gain the love of another woman Nora, played by the lovely Sylva Koscina, teams her up with Stephen’s character in a double con and eventually leads to a murder. The movie definitely has the feel of high quality, Euro-trash-exploitation flick. I think it’s gorgeously filmed. There are so many different versions of this film floating around out there of varying quality. There is a Spanish version, an Italian version, and an English version with Greek subtitles. I have found a decent English version, but be-warned–it is not Stephen’s voice, nor Marisa’s voice. Apparently when it came time to dub this movie, Stephen and Marisa had left town and they had to get two other actors to fill in the dialogue, which is disappointing, since hearing them both on screen again would certainly enhance the pleasure of watching this movie. During the production of this film, Stephen and Marisa were beginning what was to be a very passionate albeit short lived love affair which would be emotionally and spiritually challenging for both of them. You can certainly tell in this film, when Stephen and Marisa are on screen together, that there is a very highly charged, underlying element of passion between them. There is a glow about the two of them that makes you realize they are both very much in love with each other at this time. For more about Marisa and Stephen, see https://stephenboydblog.wordpress.com/stephen-boyd-and-marisa-mell/