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Cecil B. DeMille
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A simple peasant is forced to take up arms to defend his farm during the Spanish Civil War. Along the way he falls in love with Russian whose father is involved in espionage. Written by
Herman Seifer <email@example.com>
The original title of this film was "The River is Blue" and the original director was to be Lewis Milestone. Kurt Weill even wrote music for the original project that was never used (lyrics by 'Ann Ronell)'. The title was changed to "The Rising Tide" and "Castles in Spain," then finally to "Blockade." The topic of the Spanish Civil War was politically sensitive and there is some hint that the upheavals of the original project were due to the political content of the film. See more »
Where is the conscience of the world?
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The Fonda/Caroll romance is one of the weakest you can see in a thirties film.He seems to appear haphazardly at the most awkward moments.That leads us to a Corneille-like situation:Fonda has killed his love's father.
Politically,the film remains vague,always referring to the enemy as "they" like in Borzage 's 'three comrades" (but that was a great film though).The war was over on the first of March 1939;thus the film ,made in 1938,warns us ,in a clumsy way,that it's only the beginning:propaganda movies can be great,but it takes a strong screenplay (best example:"the mortal storm" Frank Borzage) and not a cat and mouse play between spies ,corrupt officers and profiteers of war.
In consequence ,the best scenes ,IMHO,are those which deal with the masses;the starving faces ,watching the ship sinking down are reminiscent of Eisenstein,whose influence was huge at the time.
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