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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Being a fan of Glenn Ford, I sought out this unknown little film on DVD. I was hoping for at least a mediocre wrapping around which to view Ford. The comments here seem to be mostly lackluster and quick to point out detracting qualities of the film.
However, after viewing, I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It's not an Oscar winner, but it is good entertainment. I enjoyed the scenario in which we see the end of the story playing out at the beginning, and then jump back in time to discover how we arrived at this end, and indeed, the truth of what we have witnessed.
Early in the morning at a little mountain village in France, a priest is startled by the toll of bells coming from the church tower. The bells have not rung for centuries, since the gauntlet (the green glove) of a war hero to whom the church is dedicated had been stolen. They must only ring again when the gauntlet is returned. The priest runs into the church to find the gauntlet still missing. Wondering of the reason for the tolling, he runs up the tower, where he finds the body of a dead man. Proceeding up to the bells themselves, he finds them tolling vigorously but the tower empty. Puzzled and disturbed, the priest proceeds back down the tower, only to find the gauntlet safely in its place! What has happened here... why and how did the bells toll and the gauntlet reappear? Who is the dead man, and why is he dead? Is there a plausible explanation, or was it a mystical occurrence? As we watch the rest of the film, we will find out.
While some have thought that the characters were shallow and uninvolved, I thought that the interaction between Ford and Brooks was entertaining, if not philosophically deep. This is a smart little suspense flick, and the plot provides enough curves and dips that my interest was easily held. I for one enjoyed the character of Geraldine Brooks -- the bubbly, energetic young lady who is attracted to Ford but unaware of the reasons for the events surrounding her. I also enjoyed the little hiatus at the secluded inn, where our protagonists play the parts of newlyweds.
The things that I enjoyed the least while viewing were the print of the film on the DVD itself, and the rather intrusive and cheap score. Of course, the film is not to be blamed for the print (Alpha Video), but the viewing does suffer somewhat, as it is not a studio release. It is watchable, but both video and audio are rather murky. The score, however, I felt was overbearing at times and reminded me of a the dramatic score of a cheap 30's B western.
All-in-all, however, very worth viewing. Particularly if you are a fan of suspense or Glenn Ford, and can bear a less-than-perfect print. Recommended.
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