Stephen Neale is released into WWII England after two years in an asylum, but it doesn't seem so sane outside either. On his way back to London to rejoin civilization, he stumbles across a murderous spy ring and doesn't quite know who to turn to. Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
If you like Hitchcock's "39 Steps" or "The Man Who Knew Too Much", you're likely to enjoy this one, too. It's weakness, in comparison to "39 Steps" lies in a frustratingly shallow treatment of the characters. Development of the relationship between the protagonist Neale and the very photogenic Fraeulein Hilfe is disappointingly sketchy - and their unwavering trust in each other - and love - essentially instantaneous, not gradually won through tension, doubt and adversity. And our doubts concerning Neale's time in prison for murder are defused all too quickly, assuring us he's no "Stagefright" personality. I can't help thinking Lang attempted to emulate "39 Steps". The result's a fun film, with wonderful close-ups of a very young Millan and his girl, but of "thinner fabric". As in "39" or "North by Northwest", the plot doesn't resist much scrutiny - the bad guys' judgment pretty lame. The fun lies in character eccentricities, great photography, the creation of an artificial universe, etc. Personally, I find "Man Who Knew Too Much" too long, impossible to sit through a second time, excessive in several ways - overacted, over-dramatized; this film, like "39" or "North by Northwest", I have no problem watching again and again.
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