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Olivia de Havilland,
In World War II France, American soldier Michael Blake captures, then loses Nazi-collaborator art thief Paul Rona, who leaves behind a gem studded gauntlet (a stolen religious relic). Years later, financial reverses lead Mike to return in search of the object. In Paris, he must dodge mysterious followers and a corpse that's hard to explain; so he and attractive tour guide Christine decamp on a cross-country pursuit that becomes love on the run...then takes yet another turn. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Lackluster thriller set in France is no Maltese Falcon
Plenty of points of interest went into The Green Glove a seasoned cast, locations in France (Paris, the Midi), a dangerous quest for a fabulous artifact. But not much energy was expended on making them interesting. It's easy to lose track of who wants what and who killed whom in this lackluster thriller, and hard to care.
Good cinematographer turned so-so director Rudoph Maté cast one of his favorite subjects, Glenn Ford, as a soldier caught up in the liberation of France. There Ford captures but loses George Macready (his old adversary from Gilda, which Maté photographed). Of vague nationality and dubious loyalties, Macready was trying to abscond with the story's Maltese Falcon a priceless gauntlet which has reposed in a village church for centuries. Ford takes custody of it but, injured, leaves it behind with the family who rescued him.
When post-war prosperity stateside doesn't catch up with Ford, he returns to France in hopes of retrieving the gauntlet and with it his fortune. From the moment his feet hit French soil (having apparently been under close surveillance for years), Macready's men start following him around; the police grow interested when one of them is found dead in Ford's hotel room. With the effervescent Geraldine Brooks in tow, he sets out by the Blue Train to the Riviera, dodging both the law and Macready's mob. There's an early scene set high up in the Eiffel Tower, and, for the resolution, Maté keeps his camera high, taking us to the sheer precipices of a goat trail and to the bell tower of the burgled church (wanly anticipating Hitchcock in both North by Northwest and Vertigo).
But the film jumps from one thing to another like those mountain goats leaping from crag to crag (fatally losing its footing in one coy, comic scene at a country inn where Ford and Brooks feign being newlyweds with bridal-night jitters). More crucially, the characters stay blandly generic, with no feel for their quirks or insight into their motives (and Sir Cedric Hardwicke is thrown away as a country priest). The Green Glove of the quest is the real McCoy, unlike the Maltese Falcon, which was a fake; in this case, the paste is worth far more than the diamonds.
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