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The Iron Curtain (1948)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, History | 16 June 1948 (Sweden)
The story of Soviet cypher-clerk Igor Gouzenko who was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa,Canada in 1943 and defected in 1945 to reveal the extent of Soviet espionage activities directed against Canada.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Berry Kroeger ...
John Grubb, aka 'Paul'
Edna Best ...
Mrs. Albert Foster
...
Nicholas Joy ...
Dr. Harold Preston Norman, aka 'Alec'
...
Frederic Tozere ...
Col. Aleksandr Trigorin (as Frederic Tozère)
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Storyline

Soviet soldier turned bureaucrat Igor Gouzenko is assigned to his first overseas posting in 1943 to Ottawa, Canada, as a cipher clerk for the military attaché, their offices in a secret wing of the Soviet embassy. Igor is not to tell anyone what he does for a living, he given a cover story which he is to recite even when questioned by his own people. He and his wife Anna Gouzenko are supposed to be cordial to their Canadian neighbors and associates, but not fraternize or befriend them, as they are still considered the enemy, despite both countries being on the same side in the war. Igor follows his instructions to a T, but it is more difficult for Anna, who does not have the distraction of work during the day, and who can see that their neighbors are not their enemies but good people much like themselves. Over the next few years, Igor sees that what is happening around him and the work in which he is involved will not result in a world in which he wants to raise his newborn son, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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What Was Behind Their Mission... THIS TERROR? See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

16 June 1948 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Behind the Iron Curtain  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Berry Kroeger. See more »

Goofs

The invitation shown from the "Associated Friends of Soviet Russia" requests the "honor" of the recipient's company, and later a newspaper headline reads, "Rumor M.P. To Be Arrested In Spy Probe". As the film takes place in Canada, where British spellings are used, the words should have been spelled "honour" and "rumour". See more »

Quotes

Maj. Semyon Kulin: Truth? What's that? I used to know when I was a very little boy.
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Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 21, Op. 51
Music by Nikolai Myaskovsky (as Nicolas Miaskovsky)
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating true spy story, the Gouzenko Defection
10 March 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The defection of Igor Gouzenko from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, in 1946, was one of the most electrifying events of the Cold War. The documents and information which he brought with him, gained from his work as a top-secret cipher clerk, resulted in the destruction of the main Soviet spy ring in Canada, which included a Member of Parliament and a nuclear scientist who was working on the atomic bomb. This film, with all the locations shot in Ottawa, and its details drawn from the official reports of a Royal Commission, is a fascinating depiction of the true story of Gouzenko from the moment of his arrival in Canada, his first time outside the Soviet Union, till his defection with his wife and child. William Wellmann directed the film in a low-key style, with some documentary linking narration from time to time. Dana Andrews was never so subdued and soft-spoken as Gouzenko in this film, and Gene Tierney is remarkably self-effacing as the devoted wife and mother of an infant. She has no particularly interesting scenes. The really powerful performances in this film are by Berry Kroeger, in his first film appearance, as an insidious, swaggering and menacing mastermind of a Soviet espionage ring, and Eduard Franz as a Soviet major who 'just cannot take it any more' and turns into a drunk. The film is tense and gripping, and follows closely the real life events of this notorious story. June Havoc is effective in a minor role as the resident Soviet honeypot who tests the new staff with alcohol and seduction to see if they are indiscreet. The world inside the Soviet Embassy is convincingly and eerily depicted, a demi-monde and a half-life of people serving Stalin and the Party like grim automatons with dark faces and all humanity stripped out of them. This film gives a nice lesson in the realities of sordid power, and the hollowness of institutionalised betrayal. There are none so low as those who slither.


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