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Department of State courier Mike Kells ends up in postwar hotbed Trieste after failing to collect a package from a colleague. The Military Police are happy for him to get more involved, but things get a bit tough. After all, he is just a postman. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1952, when this movie was made, Trieste was an independent city state, under the protection of the United Nations as the Free Territory of Trieste. The territory of Trieste was divided into two zones of occupation. Zone A was administered by the Allied Military Government (American and British Armed Forces)while zone B remained under the military administration of the Yugoslav People's Army.This state of affairs ended in 1954. See more »
The action takes place in April 1950. In a scene in a nightclub, a female impersonator uses the "Fasten Your Seatbelts..." line spoken by Bette Davis in All About Eve, which was not released until October 1950. See more »
You started by arousing the mother instinct in me, and now you got the whole works worked up. And you got something stirred up.
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This is one of the best of the post-war intrigue/suspense flicks. What all of these have in common is the gritty black-and-white look of cities that haven't recovered from the war, usually in ruins, to varying degrees. (Think The Third Man, The Search, Berlin Express) There are no ruins in Diplomatic Courier, but you still get that shadowy, melancholy, sinister, exotic atmosphere that marks the genre.
Others, who pick apart the "accuracy" or logic of certain parts of Diplomatic Courier are pedantic prigs who don't know how to watch a movie. Sure, there are a few lapses, but in such a fast-paced movie, with so many plot points, it's amazing that the story holds together so well. This is due, I think, to Henry Hathoway, one of the great line directors of the studio system. Add the cinematography of the great Lucien Ballard, and you have a handsome production.
As for the cast, who cares if Bogart would have been better? Tyrone Power is, well, Tyrone Power. No, he's no Bogart, but who doesn't enjoy just watching him? And he is one of the great action film stars. And we have Patricia Neal, at her most beautiful and vampish, in that mink coat for Ty Power to nestle his face in. I think the Power-Neal thing is essential because it serves as a light-hearted counterpoint to the severe, portentous relationship of Power-Neff.
And speaking of Hildegard Neff, I agree with a previous reviewer, that this film showcases the talent and beauty of one of the finest actresses that Hollywood ever trashed.
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