When allied troops liberate a small battle-scarred Belgium town in 1944 the American and British commanders do all they can to help the war-weary people back on their feet. There are mental... See full summary »
Herbert J. Biberman
A viceroy and an archbishop take their posts in Mexico. A local nun, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695), intrigues them. The viceroy and his wife find her brilliant and fascinating. The ... See full summary »
The title, in British police parlance of the day, defines a petty crook whose criminal activities are minor and legal-borderline, but the title character in this film appears to stretch the... See full summary »
When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.
In 1930, Maria Brentano and her younger sister Nora flee to London after their father is murdered by a European dictator. Seven years later, during a weekend trip to Paris, Maria unexpectedly meets Louis, her former lover who is now plotting the assassination of the dictator. Maria and Nora become involved in the plan, which goes tragically wrong when the time bomb they plant kills an innocent bystander. Written by
While most sources (including this website) list the official release date of this film as 1952, the copyright notice on the title card of the actual film reads "1951". See more »
Opening credits: "Hidden in each one of us is a secret person, often unknown even to ourselves. The force of circumstances can drive us to a point at which this inner character takes charge and alters the course of our lives." See more »
Valentina Cortese, daughter of pacifist anti-fascist, makes the best of exile in England with sister Audrey Hepburn. When the strongman who killed her father comes to England, will she resist the entreaties of her father's political friends to help them, or will she join THE SECRET PEOPLE? This is quite a good film -- but it is much more a character study of a woman who suddenly finds her ideals and her peace of mind threatened because of her position - then it is a straightforward spy vs spy drama. Audrey Hepburn, on the cusp of stardom, is given a role that highlights her talents without taxing her abilities. (She plays young and dangerously innocent beautifully. Her ability to do this is what makes the end of the film work.) But the movie rests on the ability of Valentina Cortese to seem intelligent but scared, vulnerable and terribly conflicted. This is a really good role that gets a really good performance.
Is this a classic for the ages? Not quite -- I like the characterization of one of the commenters as "near masterpiece". There's a deliberate lack of suspense in the film -- the results of one of the key actions in the film is so telegraphed in advance that the sequence surrounding it might be the dullest patch of the film, and the build up to the final climax is oddly lacking. But, if you have a dog- eared copy of Conrad's Secret Agent, you'll recognize the dark but dowdy milieu, and appreciate that Ealing's dedication to the use of location filming is put to good -- if very un-Ealing like -- use here.
Worth the time.
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