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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,
Shortly after the end of World War II, British Colonel Michael 'Hooky' Nicobar is assigned to a unit in the British Zone of Vienna. His duty is to aid the Soviet authorities to repatriate citizens of the Soviet Union, many of whom prefer not to return to their home country. Billeted in the convent run by Mother Auxilia, Nicobar, and his military aides Major John 'Twingo' McPhimister and Audrey Quail, become involved in the plight of a young ballerina who is trying to avoid being returned to Moscow. Nicobar's sense of duty is tested as he sees first hand the plight of the people he is helping return to the Soviet Union; his lack of religious faith is also shaken by his contact with the Mother Superior. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Col. Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar:
[to Brigadier Catlock, after refusing to return any more displaced Russian citizens back to the Soviet Union]
One of our reasons for fighting this war was to liberate people from tyranny.
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I found the film captivating. It addresses subjects such as faith and morality, and the conflict between being both a soldier and a human being. It gives no easy answers. It presents a piece of history rarely shown in film, and attempts to side-step making everything black and white. Yet The Red Danube is, foremost, good entertainment, a tale of love in the midst of war. Focusing on entertainment is necessary in the entertainment business, and the film does it well, with a few gratifying twists, too. Walter Pigeon and Ethel Barrymore are their grandest dignified selves. Sometimes its nice to be able to be reminded what that is. Interesting to note that Ethel Barrymore was seventy years old when making this film.
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