6.9/10
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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
...
Paul Ravitch, alias Schleger
Fritz Wendhausen ...
Warder Goeter (as Frederick Wendhausen)
Carl Jaffe ...
Cellblock Guard Becker
...
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
...
Col. Bertrand, Dutch consulate
Antonio Gallardo ...
Spanish Dancer
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Storyline

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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TERROR races through the streets of BERLIN ! See more »

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

1 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Momento de Desespero  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Dirk Bogarde escapes to clear his name
19 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Desperate Moment" (1953) is a Britnoir thriller. A big plus for it is the many night and dark scenes, creating an atmosphere of peril, which is exactly what besets star Dirk Bogarde. A former resistance fighter, he confessed to a crime he didn't commit in order to save his buddies, one of whom had lied to him about the death of his lover Anna (Mai Zetterling). Later, having learned that she's alive, he escapes and seeks the killer, unknown to him. He's a man on the run who desperately is looking for his old buddies, none of whom wants to help him because they had in those years raided a medical supply depot in which a soldier was killed. Bogarde hooks up with Zetterling who helps him out. Zetterling whispers too much for my taste, and that combined with the usual less than sterling British sound track made me turn the volume up. I watched a very good VHS copy. This movie seems not to be out on DVD.

The supporting cast includes some well-known actors: Theodore Bikel, Albert Lieven and Philip Friend. Bikel can always handle a weak man role. Lieven can always provide suave menace. Friend can show a stern unfriendliness. Fritz Wendhausen, lesser known, injects some cynical depth to the proceedings. Walter Gotell has a small supporting role; years later, this balding actor would be a notable presence in some James Bond movies like "From Russia with Love".

There is a fair amount of tension and suspense, and I've seen this movie about 3 times. This time around, it seemed to me that the directing was not very inventive and the stars rather compensated for this by injecting a feverish emotion into some scenes. I think the IMDb rating is about right. I like the photography best, and it includes some scenes in bombed out areas at night. The man on the run works well as does the search and encounters with the supporting cast. The romantic angle between Bogarde and Zetterling doesn't really click.


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