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Diplomatic Courier (1952)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  13 June 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 489 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 10 critic

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... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Mike Kells
Joan Ross
Stephen McNally ...
Col. Mark Cagle
Janine Betki (as Hildegarde Neff)
Sgt. Ernie Guelvada
James Millican ...
Sam F. Carew
Rasumny Platov
Herbert Berghof ...
Arthur Blake ...
Max Ralli
Helene Stanley ...
Airline Stewardess


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 June 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kurier nach Triest  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1952, when this film was released,Austria was under joint Allied occupation (American, British,French and Soviet areas).Vienna , much like Berlin , was also divided among four zones of occupation.In 1955,as a result of the newly signed Austrian State Treaty,most of the Allied occupation armies,including the Soviet Army withdrew from Austria. See more »


Near the opening, we see the switchboard in the state department, with labels over the various patch-cord inputs. One of them is labeled "MANILLA" rather than "Manila." See more »


Joan Ross: You started by arousing the mother instinct in me, and now you got the whole works worked up. And you got something stirred up.
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin (2000) See more »


Music by Lionel Newman
Played during the Bette Davis impersonation
See more »

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User Reviews

brisk Cold War drama
21 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tyrone Power stars as a courier put in an awkward situation by the U.S. government in "Diplomatic Courier," which also stars Patricia Neal and Hildegarde Knef. Neal has a small but showy role as a society widow who chases Power around Europe. The film was shot on location in Europe, possibly using post-war blocked funds that caused so many films to be made there in the '50s and beyond.

I first saw this film on TV as a kid, and like one of the other posters, it stuck in my mind, possibly because even back then, I was a Tyrone Power fan. The early '50s were a transition time for him. Unlike some actors - Bogart, Mitchum, Gable, to name a few - Power changed dramatically over the years. By the time this film was made, he had lost the last vestige of his boyishness and was thoroughly disillusioned with movies and undoubtedly the master he had served since 1936, 20th Century Fox. In the few years he had left, he would turn more and more to theater and form his own movie production company. Some of his best work lay ahead of him.

Power is supported in the film with a vigorous performance by Karl Malden and from newcomer Hildegarde Knef. Talented and beautiful, Knef, like many other European actresses who came to Hollywood after the war, never found a niche in Hollywood. She went on to great success on Broadway, however, with "Silk Stockings," the musical version of "Ninotchka," costarring Don Ameche, and remained friends with Power. Patricia Neal plays a widow that Power meets on an airplane. He keeps standing her up when they're supposed to get together but the story takes it a little further. Neal was an ardent fan of Power's and when they met, she asked him why it was that he hadn't answered her fan letter.

Diplomatic Courier is a fast-moving, atmospheric film where you can't tell the good guys from the bad, and it holds interest. Watch for a Lee Marvin in a small role and an uncredited moment by Charles Bronson.

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