A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
In 1831, Irishman Charles Adare travels to Australia to start a new life with the help of his cousin who has just been appointed governor. When he arrives he meets powerful landowner and ex-convict Sam Flusky, who wants to do a business deal with him. Whilst attending a dinner party at Flusky's house, Charles meets Flusky's wife Henrietta who he had known as a child back in Ireland. Henrietta is an alcoholic and seems to be on the verge of madness. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Alfred Hitchcock began to use the "Ten Minute Take" of continuous one-reel shooting which he had enjoyed refining on his previous film Rope (1948), but as the process proved far more difficult here than in the enclosed apartment-set drama, only a couple of sequences were ultimately shot for the finished print. See more »
The opening narration declares that "In 1770 Captain Cook discovered Australia". While James Cook led one of the first British expeditions to Australia, other European explorers had visited the country before him. See more »
In seventeen-hundred and seventy, Captain Cook discovered Australia. Sixty years later, the city of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, had grown on the edge of three million square miles of unknown land. The colony exported raw materials. It imported material even more raw - prisoners, many of them unjustly convicted, who were to be shaped into the pioneers of a great dominion. In eighteen-hundred and thirty-one King William the Fourth sent a new governor to rule the colony. ...
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Opening credits roll up over a map of Australia. See more »
Unusual genre change for Hitchcock, a suspense-less western, crossed with romance and costume drama/ stage play, in the Land Down Under.
Long and lumbering mess of a movie, with Hitchcock more interested in setting up lengthy tracking shots than anything else. In the previous year's Rope, Hitchcock used the same trick to good effect, but here it seems to have no purpose, no relation to the story. In Rope, the long, unedited takes resembled an unblinking, all seeing eye.
Here, it seems like the same unblinking, all-seeing eye refuses to look away, even though it knows it should have looked away long ago.
The long, unedited takes look like master shots, or even just raw footage. It becomes somewhat hypnotic, dulling the senses to the dull screen story. It feels like we are just blankly staring into space, completely unaware of what is happening, but too bored to even look away. (Is that what the cinematographer felt?) It's like we are carrying on a dull conversation with someone, and that someone refuses to break eye contact, like they are waiting for us to suddenly become interested in the proceedings. A few close-ups were needed to bring out more detail, in the settings and performances, but as it is, it seems like the filmmakers couldn't even bother to do much editing.
The set designs and costumes all look good, but that cannot support the entire movie on its own. The film could have benefited (slightly) from on-location photography, but everything was filmed on soundstages in California.
Starts slowly, but then it looks as though it may get going and become interesting, but then it fizzles away, all within its first half hour. It doesn't really even have Hitchcock's usual sense of humour to liven the proceedings. A complete waste. Probably one of the few Hitchcock films that I could not sit through a second time.
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