Near the end of WW II, a member of the German underground (Martin Richter) escapes from the Gestapo and takes shelter at Hotel Berlin, where he meets Lisa Dorn, a sleek actress involved ... See full summary »
A young bride's marital bliss is replaced by shades of suspicion when she suspects that her husband is trying to starve his young son to death in order to claim an inheritance the boy is ... See full summary »
An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
"Mission to Moscow" was made at the behest of F.D.R. in order to garner more support for the Soviet Union during WWII. It was from the book by Joseph E. Davies, former U.S. Ambassador To Russia. The movie covers the political machinations in Moscow just before the start of the war and presents Stalin's Russia in a very favorable light. So much so, that the movie was cited years later by the House Un-American Activities Commission and was largely responsible for the screenwriter, Howard Koch being Blacklisted. Written by
E. Barry Bruyea <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was often mentioned during the 1947 House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in its investigation of alleged Communist "infiltration" of the motion picture industry and was chiefly responsible for the blacklisting of screenwriter Howard Koch. Warner Bros. studio head Jack L. Warner defended the picture as being "made when our country was fighting for its existence, with Russia as one of our allies . . . The picture was made only to help a desperate war effort and not for posterity." See more »
Davies and the rest of the diplomatic corps are shown watching the 1938 May Day parade through Red Square. Some time later, at the farewell dinner being held in Davies's honor, Litvinov is handed a communique stating that Germany had just invaded and annexed Austria (the Anschluss). In fact Germany had taken over Austria on March 13, 1938, a full seven weeks before the May Day parade that in the film precedes the Anschluss. See more »
Opens with a card reading: We have the honor to present the former Ambassador from the United States to the Soviet Union, the Honorable Joseph E. Davies, who will address you prior to the showing of the film made from his important book, "Mission to Moscow". In the picture itself, Mr. Walter Huston portrays Mr. Davies during those vital years encompassed in his now significant report to this nation. And now, Mr. Davies: [Mr. Davies gives a presentation on the actual events leading up to these events, and to this film.] See more »
If you like a film that glorifies and falsifies the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin then this is for you
This film was made to patronize Joeseph Stalin and warm USA audiences to American-Soviet relations. Warner boss Jack Warner called it the worst mistake of his career. Warner was a supporter of FDR and Roosevelt asked him to have this film made based on the 1941 book by former Ambassador to the USSR (1936-1938) Joseph E. Davies. Several films were made during this time to achieve the same effect like song of Russia, North Star and Counter Attack but this was a film for Stalin to see himself, hand delivered on a yet another mission to Moscow by Davies. This film portrays the brutal dictator Stalin as a fair and just man who has turned his backward country into a progressive industrial and agricultural giant that is moving toward democracy and desires peace and protection of it's borders. It mentions nothing of the one million deaths in the Soviet gulags that happened during Davies' ambassadorial tenure on his mission to Moscow. It glosses over the infamous purge show trials where Stalin rid himself of prominent party leaders where he had 50 of the 54 of the three trials executed under the guise of traitors who were conspiring with Germany and Japan to weaken the USSR. Stalin wanted absolute power but this film portrays these as fair and just trials. The costly Russo-Finnish War of 1939 is described by Davies as simply the Soviets wanting to annex Finland to protect Finland from the Nazi's. 23,000 Finns were killed and 43,000 wounded in this so-called effort to protect them. 127,000 Soviets were killed and 265,000 wounded. There is no mention of Stalin's man-made famine of the 1930's that resulted in the genocide of millions of Ukrainians. Stalin is portrayed as everybody's favorite uncle and FDR wanted Stalin to see how sympathetic we were to to him by having him actually view this film to maneuver a FDR-Stalin meeting in Alaska. FDR sent former Ambassador Davies on another mission to Moscow with this film and a message to Stalin from Roosevelt as to how much he respected him. Davies' successor in Moscow Ambassador William H. Standley was not in the loop on this mission and furious and resigned. Davies screened this film for Stalin. Stalin wasn't that impressed with the film or FDR's intentions and stalled on the Alaska summit. FDR was forced to send Secretary of State Cordell Hull to Moscow and Stalin agreed to a summit in Teheran instead of Alaska which would also include Winston Churchill who FDR didn't want for his proposed Alaska summit.
Michael Curtiz is the director and the film looks good from an artistic standpoint. Curtiz was best known for Casablanca and after starting out as an important European director in the teens and twenties he moved to Hollywood and became an important filmmaker. Howard Koch who wrote screenplays for such films as Casablanca adapted the Davies' book for the screen which later got him blacklisted from Hollywood. Bert Glendon who did such films as Hotel Imperial and The Ten Commandments in the 20's, Kidnapped and Young Mr. Linclon in the 30's and One Night in Lisbon and Our Town in the 40's is the film's cinematographer. This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction and stars FDR's favorite actor Walter Huston as Ambassador Davies. Also in the talented cast are Ann Harding, George Tobias, Oscar Homolka, Eleanor Parker, Gene Lockhart, Frank Faylen and Cyd Charisse. You can enjoy the documentary style approach to this film and the skills of it's renowned filmmakers and big studio production but you can't get past a propaganda film that glorifies the Stalin dictatorship. I would give it a 4.5 out of 10.
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