In 1915, German Counter-Intelligence Chief Von Sturm learns that someone is providing the British with critical strategic planning for the Turkish theater. He suspects Ali Bey, Turkish ... See full summary »
Thirteen women who were schoolmates send to a swami for their horoscopes. Little do they realize that Ursula, a half-breed Asian, is using her hypnotic powers over the swami and them to ... See full summary »
A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley during World War I. The action takes place in Italy and the two fall in love during the war and will stop ... See full summary »
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Helen and Ken are a pretty strange couple. She is a pathological liar, and he is a scrupulously honest (and therefore unsuccessful) lawyer. Helen starts a new job, and when her employer is ... See full summary »
In 1915, German Counter-Intelligence Chief Von Sturm learns that someone is providing the British with critical strategic planning for the Turkish theater. He suspects Ali Bey, Turkish commander for the Dardanelles, and dispatches Annemarie to Constantinople to secure the proof. En route she becomes involved with Douglas Beall, a footloose American. Complications ensue, requiring Annemarie to engage in some dangerous improvisations. Written by
Stephen Bayer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Ali Bey arrives at the charity bazaar, his soldiers salute him, and the salutes are standard right-hand-to-the-forehead salutes, except for the soldier who holds his thumb to his nose, with the palm open and his four fingers extended (but not wiggling). Yet it still appears as if he is thumbing his nose at Ali Bey. See more »
I watched this more for Myrna Loy than for George Brent, whom I'd always considered wooden and stolid. Imagine my surprise to see a playful, puppyish Brent, with only a few small foreshadowings of his priggish side.
Myrna Loy is even more beautiful than usual, in a series of spectacular gowns (most notably one that is backless, nearly sideless, with a front that consists mostly of a flower, two rhinestone straps, and good intentions). She plays a German counter-espionage spy, Fraulein Doktor, who is notorious in many countries for her skill at getting information. It is clear that she didn't mind using sex to do so, which must have made negotiations with the Hays Office more fraught than usual.
There was a real Fraulein Doktor, who had run a school for spies in Belgium. She was still alive when the film was made (though suffering from drug addiction in a Swiss sanitorium), so the writers and producers had to tread carefully in their depiction of her. Loy's trademark sang-froid serves her well as she jokes about missions with her boss (the excellent Lionel Atwill), manipulates targets, and deals with the smitten Brent. The plot twists and twists and then twists a final time (just when you think you've anticipated the double-crosses, there's one last to surprise you). The cautionary references to Mata Hari help ground the story in its historical context.
The cast is great fun, with Mischa Auer as an efficient aide-de-camp, Leo G Carroll as a double-agent, and the wonderfully villainous C. Henry Gordon as Fraulein Doktor's main target.
The end, however, is simply odd. One hardly knows what to make of that final scene--it seems almost like an hallucination. Its unsatisfactory cap to the movie led me to give it a lower rating than I would have otherwise.
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