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The Conspirators (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 24 October 1944 (USA)
Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Fredric Prokosch), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Irene Von Mohr
...
Vincent Van Der Lyn
...
Ricardo Quintanilla
...
Jan Bernazsky
...
Hugo Von Mohr
...
Police Captain Pereira
...
Rosa
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Miguel
...
Police Colonel Almeida (as Edward Ciannelli)
Steven Geray ...
Dr. Schmitt
Kurt Katch ...
Otto Lutzke
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Storyline

Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo Quintanilla, knows that one of their number is spying for the Nazis, and needs Van Der Lyn to help identify the traitor. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

24 October 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Almas de fuego  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has many tangential connections to Casablanca (1942) besides its plot line of anti-Nazi intrigue. It features Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, who all appeared in "Casablanca". Behind the scenes, the film features music by Max Steiner and cinematography by Arthur Edeson, who both worked on "Casablanca". Like "Casablanca", it was produced by Warner Bros. It also features Hedy Lamarr, who was originally considered for the role of "Ilsa", which was eventually played by Ingrid Bergman. Lamar had also previously appeared in Algiers (1938), which also had a plot line similar to "Casablanca". See more »

Goofs

When Vincent van Der Lyn leaves the airport in Lisbon, walking, he is already in Sintra - a different council, some 50 km away. See more »

Quotes

Police Colonel Almeida: Police Colonel Almeida
[to Irene Von Mohr]
Police Colonel Almeida: , "May I escort you through this dangerous arena of diplomacy to the punchbowl?"
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Top Secret! (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube Waltz, Opus 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Played in the German Legation
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User Reviews

 
Why, O why, was Hedy Lamarr not given better material?
13 January 2008 | by (Petersburg, Vasaria) – See all my reviews

Although THE CONSPIRATORS is considered to be an unsuccessful CASABLANCA clone, I was nevertheless eager to see two of my favorite European actors—Paul Henreid and Hedy Lamarr—in the same film together and see sparks fly in their love scenes. Boy, I was wrong the moment I saw Paul and Hedy only flicker and go out like a match takes to water.

Although Hedy was originally considered for the role of Ilsa Lund in CASABLANCA at Warner Brothers, she was denied the role by her home studio, MGM. Two years later, she was loaned out to Warner Brothers and given the role of Irene Von Mohr in THE CONSPIRATORS. Since the script's story was similar to CASABLANCA, Hedy agreed to make up for a lost role…and a lost costar, Paul Henreid.

The results led to a troubled production from the start: under Jean Negulesco's novice direction, the two stars were in conflict together and later caused Paul to write in his autobiography, "THE CONSPIRATORS...was my first movie with Hedy Lamarr, and my first introduction to her brand of wooden acting." The on-screen results are uncomfortable to watch and both actors seem to feign during their few love scenes. Also, producer Hal Wallis was fired early in the production by executive producer Jack L. Warner, leading to a re-written script, rebuilt sets made from scratch, and completely re-shot footage. Unfortunately, although CASABLANCA went through it all and came out a beloved masterpiece, THE CONSPIRATORS is anything but a beloved masterpiece.

Paul and Hedy do well in their platonic first scenes, in which Paul takes on the appearance of a charming cad and Hedy acts cold and unfeeling towards him…but their underplayed acting styles do not combine well in their love scenes. The supporting actors—including Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Steven Geray, and Victor Francen—are all fine but the poor script does not do their acting talents justice. The poor script leads the actors nowhere and the dull story makes little sense. There's even a ridiculous hidden security camera scene that's the stuff of low-budget Saturday matinée movie serials of the time. The only redeeming features of the film are the mysterious atmosphere and black-and-white cinematography, the usual fast-paced editing techniques that were a staple of classic Warner Bros. films, Max Steiner's exciting music score, and the astonishing beauty of Hedy Lamarr.

This film is an utter disappointment and obviously not the best work of the two stars. It's too bad that they were not given a stronger script and a far more sensitive director, since Paul and Hedy would have made a remarkable on-screen couple. If you want to see Paul at his best, see CASABLANCA, BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1944), or his first American film, JOAN OF Paris (1942). And although Hedy made only a few adequate films in her career, H.M PULHAM, ESQ. (1941) and COME LIVE WITH ME (1941) would be her best films. Another good choice would be ZIEGFELD GIRL (1941) since Hedy performs well with another favorite European actor of mine, the suave (and sadly forgotten) Dutch actor Philip Dorn. At least Philip and Hedy act as though they really love each other in the film.


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