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In 1939, American Tom Martin, who fought in the Spanish Civil War, awaits execution at the hands of the Fascist victors when reporter Augusta 'Gusto' Nash, for a scoop, aids him in an audacious escape. Of course, Tom tries to romance Gusto; but though she likes him, her career comes first, and Tom himself prefers freedom-fighting to settling down. Comedy becomes drama as their mixed feelings lead them on a circuitous path through the deepening chaos and catastrophe of the early days of World War II. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mitchell Leisen insisted that the stars drink real alcohol in the scene where Milland tries to get Colbert drunk. The director concocted what Milland termed a "ghastly mixture" of creme de menthe and champagne. According to the actor, they got it right on the third take, but Mitchell insisted on a fourth. Milland was able to stagger away, but Colbert and Walter Abel were so drunk that the studio ambulance had to take them home. See more »
Then contemporary, now historic war romantic drama
This is a good movie, full of snappy lines, very capable acting and interesting scenes. Mitchell Leisen has an above average script to work with, and when this happens you can be assured of a very watchable movie. Well worth a DVD release (can you hear me Universal!), but this inexplicably has never even made it on to VHS.
It features a strong capable woman (a trademark Leisen feature), but her male counterpart is no weakling is either, Ray Milland matches Claudette Colbert all of the way, helping create dramatic interest. The last section of the movie after the sinking of the Athenia is a bit underwritten and slightly unconvincing, but this is only a minor quibble.
Very well worth watching.
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