Post World War II film noir w/authentic feel _ 8/10
Calloway: Go home Martins, like a sensible chap. You don’t know what you’re mixing in, get the next plane.
Martins: As soon as I get to the bottom of this, I’ll get the next plane.
Calloway: Death’s at the bottom of everything, Martins. Leave death to the professionals.
Martins: Mind if I use that line in my next Western?
Anna Schmidt: A person doesn’t change just because you find out more.
Amazing I’d never seen this highly artful, black and white film, because it actually has a bit of a political message, set as it is in immediate post World War II Vienna, Austria. The city was divided into four separately policed zones—US, Britain, France, Russia—mainly to accommodate the diplomatic niceties extended to the Soviets. Hint: Nobody wanted to be in the Russian zone. It was quite common for Germans to forge their identity papers so that they would appear to live in districts under responsibility of the Western powers. Continue reading
Character study in precursor environment of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’
Happened upon the film given four stars by the reviewer on Turner Classic Movies, and checked it out.
Glad I did. Informed by the venerable Robert Osborne that this movie is a launch pad for director Carol Reed who later did such classics as The Third Man, The Agony and the Ecstasy, and Oliver. It also served to elevate James Mason into leading actor territory. In this effort he is cast as an Irish revolutionary leader working for ‘the Organisation’ after having served much time in a British/Unionist prison. [Here’s where I’m unclear on the history, but I believe, looking at my Wikipedia ‘hallowed official knowledge’-bot article on Ireland: I see the Irish Republic—meaning the bulk of the island, except for the northeast six counties—came into existence after considerable struggle in 1921 with the Anglo-Irish Treaty, but it wasn’t until 1949 that ‘full’ independence was achieved and that that land became the Republic of Ireland. Continue reading