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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 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 »
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 »
[to Janine about Sam's watch]
Where did they get this? Did they take it off Sam's body? Was it part of your pay?
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As my summary suggests, I was taken aback by H. Neff's moving portrayal as the double agent in post-war Trieste. No gussied-up over emoting from her, just honest, gut-wrenching outpouring of uncontrived emotion delivered with articulation and intensity. When watching her explain herself to Mr. Power and others, I actually felt she must have been an agent in real life at some point. Those tears she shed while she delivered her rationale for her actions were the genuine type, not some Hollywood "tear-squirting" job. Why she never became a more sought-after actor, I'll never know. Maybe she was a little too deep and maybe too foreign for the superficially driven 1950's Hollywood system. Also impressive was Patricia Neal's interpretation of her femme fatale role.
Also, I'll take exception to those who criticized T. Power's role. As I see it, he excelled in his performance as a world-weary, cynical Cold War courier. What do people expect? A rerun as a younger, pseudo-swashbuckling Caribbean pirate? I for one am glad he took a less glamorous and more substantive role such as this.
On a somewhat sentimental note, it was nice to see some cameo-ish work from Lee Marvin, Michael Ansara and Chuck Buchinski (Bronson!) before their careers took off in the ensuing years. It made the film more fun to watch!
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