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Determined, independent Bridie Quilty comes of age in 1944 Ireland thinking all Englishmen are devils. Her desire to join the IRA meets no encouragement, but a German spy finds her easy to recruit. We next find her working in a pub near a British military prison, using her sex appeal in the service of the enemy. But chance puts a really vital secret into her hands, leading to a chase involving Bridie, a British officer who's fallen for her, a German agent unknown to them both, and the police...paralleled by Bridie's own internal conflicts. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In Devon in June 1944, sunset would be after 10 pm (Double Summer Time), and indeed when the clock strikes 9 and Bridie suddenly ends her date with David we see them moving against a daytime sky. Yet in the prisoner scene occurring simultaneously, it's fully dark. See more »
Lt. David Baynes:
Where'd you get this? D'you realize you can go to prison for forging an identity card? What made you do it?
It's nothing to do with you; it's my business.
Lt. David Baynes:
It's my name! Small point, perhaps.
Oh, isn't it like an Englishman to niggle about a thing like that?
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I See a Dark Stranger finds Deborah Kerr as Irish colleen Bridie Quilty trying to get even with the English for all manner of deprivations visited on her people. Unfortunately she's born during World War II and her own government is scrupulously maintaining its neutrality because they recognize a Nazi victory wouldn't be good for them either.
Deb's been brought up on tales of the Rebellion of 1916 by her family and her first attempt to join the Irish Republican Army by that time an illegal group meets with a rebuff. She looks up an old IRA fighter whose name Dad's dropped for years and finds he's now a museum curator and a believer in the constitutional and diplomatic solutions for remaining problems with the British. Brefni O'Rourke plays Michael Callaghan the old Irish freedom fighter who tries to disillusion Deborah with no success.
She doesn't give up so easily and before long she's really in over her head involved with Nazi spies headed by Raymond Huntley. But she also has a British officer, Trevor Howard, who does convince her in the end that not all the British are Oliver Cromwell while falling for her at the same time.
I See A Dark Stranger was well received in its day, but I think it has a problem of varying degree of mood that isn't explained. The film can't seem to make up its mind as to just how light hearted the story should be. It should have come down on one side or the other.
Still Deborah makes a spirited Bridie and this film together with Black Narcissus are the ones responsible for her going to Hollywood and a long term and honored career which sad to say was not rewarded with an Oscar except a life time achievement one. Trevor Howard is a stalwart leading man and Tom McCauley and Garry Marsh play a couple of Colonel Blimps in training on the Isle of Man who nearly steal the film.
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