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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 00:09 GMT 01:09 UK
Festival unveils new Cruise movie
Tom Cruise
Cruise takes the role of a US senator in the film
Actor Tom Cruise hit the red carpet in London for the world premiere of his film Lions for Lambs.

Set in Afghanistan, the political movie features an all-star cast including Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.

Cruise and Redford attended the 51st London Film Festival event at the Odeon Leicester Square.

The film, about the suffering of soldiers in Afghanistan, is being tipped as an Oscar contender because of its controversial subject matter.

Good-natured walkabout

Cruise spent more than two hours meeting fans before the premiere opened.

He told BBC News 24 that he particularly enjoyed meeting his British fans.

"They love movies, and it's just an experience that I look forward to when I come here," he said.

"It's really nice. I actually was surprised that there were this many people here. I thought it's raining, it's cold."

Robert Redford
Redford both directs the film and plays an idealistic US professor

Cruise signed autographs and had photographs taken with fans who had waited for him in the cold and wet weather.

But despite the good-natured atmosphere of the walkabout, due to a previous incident in which Cruise was squirted with a water pistol, people's bags were searched by organisers concerned something similar might happen again.

Redford, who also directed the movie, plays an idealistic US professor who inspires two of his students to join the battle in Afghanistan.

Cruise takes the role of a US senator while Streep plays a TV journalist who receives some explosive information.

Lions for Lambs is one of a dozen Hollywood films being made or set for release which touch on the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the "war on terror", or on the subject of a politically-divided US.

Due for release in the US and UK next month - a year before the next presidential election, it has been branded anti-war propaganda by some conservatives in the country.

Tom Cruise on his new film Lions for Lambs

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