- Designated Hero: Mostly because he's played by a weak actor (Frederick Stafford who appeared in many European B-Films) but even otherwise, the film's "hero" is an adulterous and duplicitious Manipulative Bastard who is so incompetent that he endangers his allies and his family.
- Ensemble Darkhorse:
- Roscoe Lee Browne's character and the entire Harlem segment is highly regarded, for its suspense and the set design. Especially interesting in that Browne is the only prominent African-American character in Hitchcock's films.
- John Vernon's Cuban officer is considered a sympathetic Tragic Villain in the vein of Claude Rains in Notorious.
- Evil Is Cool: As usual in Hitchcock, the villains are pretty cool especially when played by the likes of Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret and John Vernon.
- Parvum Opus: Often considered Alfred Hitchcock's worst film, or at least the worst after he became an A-list director. Of his final four films (Marnie being regarded generally as his final masterpiece), it is certainly the least liked.
- So Okay, It's Average: Despite its reputation, it's not actually a particularly bad film in and of itself, it just doesn't live up to the rest of Hitchcock's impressive filmography.