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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
Col. Mark Cagle:
She's an appealing dish no doubt. Most bad women are. One way or another, that's why they can be so successfully bad.
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Tyrone Power plays a diplomatic courier called out on a special assignment which seems fairly simple: pick up some documents from an agent and take them to Washington. But of course, in a film like this, things don't work out right the first time. The "drop" doesn't go according to plan, so Power has to improvise, surrounded by an increasing number of characters whose loyalties are questionable. A couple of femmes fatales, a cross-dressing night club entertainer, some MPs, and the obligatory little bald pawnshop owner all liven up the plot, with plenty of twists en route to the finale.
The influence of THE THIRD MAN is clear, with plenty of atmospheric European locations, and even a bit of zither music in a restaurant. Power is an engaging hero, and the two female leads (Neal and Neff) keep him guessing. Early appearances by Karl Malden, Charles Bronson, and Lee Marvin add interest for trivia buffs. Fans of Cold War espionage fiction will find DIPLOMATIC COURIER a great way to spend an evening.
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