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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>
Dark, courageous film proves Leonard Maltin wrong!
This is Leonard Maltin's assessment of this film: "Meandering drama of ballerina Leigh pursued by Russian agents, aided by amorous Lawford; heavy-handed at times." This is like saying "Titanic" (1997) is "a meandering drama of artist's model Winslet caught between fiancé and a shipboard romance; heavy-handed at times". The man is an idiot. This film is a stylish and courageous exposition of the necessary process of humanization that the Allied armies had to go through in dealing with the refugee problem in Eastern Europe following WWII. The acting is uniformly excellent, even Peter Lawford managing a moment or two to shine among the superlative performances of Walter Pidgeon, Angela Lansbury, Ethel Barrymore, Louis Calhern, Janet Leigh and a handful of others. The music is by Miklos Rozsa who must have found the subject inspirational. The lighting, photography and the director's ability to express human tragedy through human faces are transcendental. This film even has its moments of humour. Not your average war film. Highly recommended.
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