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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Col. Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar:
[on the phone]
No, no, no, no. Now let's start at the beginning. First, you have the directive that malaria comes from mosquito bites and that you are therefore to exterminate the mosquitos, right? Now, secondly, as you point out, only the female mosquito desires human blood and, therefore, it transmits malaria. However, owing to the impossibility of distinguishing between the male and the female mosquito, it will be necessary for you to destroy ALL mosquitos... the innocent along with the ...
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The director, George Sydney, and his tech crew were geniuses.
I liked this movie very much; it resonated clearly. I grew up during the 2nd WW, and the aftermath was often a mystery; this relates to that time vis-a-vis Russia and her ex-patriots. This is not a formula movie; we care about the main characters and it really reaches to the heart. The points the script made about our choices in life were well made, and the reference to religion was fair. I'm going to use the metaphoric model of the painter, paint, ladder and ceiling in my own work. The actors were wonderful, and the camera work was exceptional at getting to the feelings that shine through the face. The lighting was part of that effect. I knew something was up when I saw the close-ups with artistic lighting, but I didn't know how strongly they would tie to later scenes and evoke emotions. This added to our caring about the sweet innocent Janet Leigh, and the young, idealistic Peter Lawford. I didn't agree with all the philosophy, but it certainly was mostly a tribute to listening to the conscience.
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