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The Glass Wall (1953)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 329 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 9 critic

Peter, a WW II 'displaced person' about to be deported jumps ship in New York harbor in an effort to find an ex-G.I named Tom whom he helped during the war and can prove Peter's right to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Peter Kaban
...
Maggie Summers
...
Nancy
Douglas Spencer ...
Inspector Bailey
Robin Raymond ...
Tanya aka Bella Zakoyla
...
Tom
Elizabeth Slifer ...
Mrs. Hinckley - Landlady
Richard Reeves ...
Eddie Hinckley
...
Freddie Zakoyla (as Joseph Turkel)
Else Bäck ...
Mrs. Zakoyla (as Else Neft)
Michael Fox ...
Inspector Toomey / Narrator
Nesdon Booth ...
Monroe - Taxi Driver (as Ned Booth)
...
Zelda - Fat Woman
Juney Ellis ...
Girl friend
Jack Teagarden ...
Musician
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Storyline

Peter, a WW II 'displaced person' about to be deported jumps ship in New York harbor in an effort to find an ex-G.I named Tom whom he helped during the war and can prove Peter's right to legal entry in the United States. It is a race against time for if he can't Tom within 24 hours and prove his case, he will be branded a fugitive and will be permanently disqualified for U.S. citizenship. His quest leads him to befriending Maggie, a down-on-her-luck factory worker whom he rejuvenates through his good faith; a visit to a jazz club where Shorty Rogers and his band and trombonist Jack Teagarden are playing, and an interlude with a good- hearted burlesque dancer, Tanya Zakoyla, takes him to her mother's home for food and rest. The climax comes at dawn in the United Nations building (the "glass wall" of the title) where he goes to plead his case and that of all displaced persons. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE 10-HOUR MANHUNT...that tore New York apart!

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1953 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Die gläserne Mauer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1953, Columbia Pictures distributed this film on a double bill with Jack McCall, Desperado (1953) starring George Montgomery. See more »

Goofs

The lights on the elevator floor indicator show that the elevator in United Nations building seem to travel 36 floors in three to five seconds. That kind of acceleration, speed, and braking would injure any occupants of the elevator; especially the elderly operator. That distance in that period of time would equate to almost sixty miles per hour. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Zakoyla: Don't forget, your dead father was a lousy foreigner!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Times Square, New York
19 October 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This film is a tribute by the amazing cinematographer, Joseph Biroc, to New York of the 50s. It's a movie that is stunning to watch as it serves to document the fun that New York was in that period after WWII. The splendid night photography of the Times Square area before the arrival of the seediness of the ensuing years, and today's theme park feeling, makes us forget that that it served as the mecca of entertainment and night life in Manhattan. We get to watch the crowds and some of the films that were playing at the time.

The director, Maxwell Shane, presents a story that might have been dramatic at the time, but in the global village, where illegal aliens are all over the city and the country, this movie shows a dated take on things since everything is different now. This is the era that Arthur Miller presented in "A View from the Bridge" about the illegal immigrants. America wasn't a tolerant nation at the time!

Vittorio Glassman, one of Italy's best actors, plays the stowaway that comes to America only to be refused entrance. No one can believe his story of survival in the European concentration camps. When he escapes into the streets of Manhattan we get the feel of what the town was like. Mr. Glassman whose body of work in the Italian cinema was unique, shows an interesting portrait as the man who is not wanted in America.

Gloria Grahame, as the girl out of luck in the naked city, plays the woman who befriends Kaban and believes him. Jerry Paris is Tom, the former G.I. who was helped by Kaban in Europe. Robin Raymond is Tanya the stripper with a heart of gold who takes Kaban home out the kindness of her heart.

The scenes at the United Nations are magnificently staged. The chase to a recently inaugurated building is one of the best things of the movie. Finally, everything that went wrong is put to order and Kaban is redeemed as a hero and a man who has told the truth from the beginning.


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