6.8/10
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Desperate Moment (1953)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Simon Van Halder
...
Anna DeBurg
Philip Friend ...
Capt. Bob Sawyer
Albert Lieven ...
Paul Ravitch, alias Schleger
Fritz Wendhausen ...
Warder Goeter (as Frederick Wendhausen)
Carl Jaffe ...
Cellblock Guard Becker
Gerard Heinz ...
German Prison Doctor
André Mikhelson ...
Polizei Inspector
Harold Ayer ...
Capt. Trevor Wood, U.S. Army
...
Ravitch's Servant-Henchman
Friedrich Joloff ...
Valentin Vladek, alias Winter
Simone Silva ...
Mink, Valentin's girl
...
Detective Laurence
Walter Rilla ...
Col. Bertrand, Dutch consulate
Antonio Gallardo ...
Spanish Dancer
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Storyline

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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Taglines:

BERLIN TO DAY! The most Exciting city in the world See more »

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Momento de Desespero  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Excellent post-war suspense drama
1 September 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is an engaging and generally well-made drama, much of which is filmed on location in the ruins of bombed-out postwar Hamburg. The extensive photography of those ruins in this film thus has a significant historical value in itself. The story is based upon the novel of the same title by Martha Albrand (1910-1981), which was published in 1951. It concerns a young Dutch citizen played by Dirk Bogarde (an interesting irony here, since Bogarde is by origin a Dutch surname, and this presumably applies to Humphrey Bogart as well) who has been tricked into confessing to a murder he did not commit after escaping from a POW camp. The film begins just after he has been condemned to life in prison. He believes that the girl named Anna DeBurg whom he had desperately loved is dead. However, she unexpectedly visits him in prison and he freaks out, barely able to believe his eyes. A long and complex tale then ensues after he escapes from prison and, with Anna's help, tries to find the witnesses who can prove that he did not commit the murder. But just before he gets to two of them, they are each mysteriously killed a few hours earlier. It becomes clear that there is a conspiracy of some kind, and that he has been 'set up' by the man who lied to him and by telling him Anna was dead. Anna is played by the Swedish actress Mai Zetterling, who had long before taken up residence in Britain and become a British star. Bogarde and Zetterling are both very good at dramatically hugging one another in a slightly histrionic manner, but, as both of them were gay, there is little real 'zing' between them. In some aspects, the film is a bit corny, but it is entertaining and well made, and the story with its twists and turns holds one's attention.


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