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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 <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 »
Well, he left in a hurry. It turned out he had an appointment to get killed. That's right, his timing was a little off. You'll be sorry to hear the car got him and not me.
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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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