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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Ted de Corsia
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A wounded Hungarian stowaway races through the jungle of New York to find the one man who can prevent him from being sent back. This deserved to be a better movie. You've got Vittorio Gassman (IL SORPASSO, LA GRANDE GUERRA, among others) in the lead, and he turns in a fine, sympathetic performance. And then you've got Gloria Grahame, who never fails to be completely awesome. You've got a good script with compelling drama, including Gassman's immigrant struggles and wartime scars, Grahame's bitter desperation, and snapshots of life in the city, both exciting and seedy. Also some great jazz (including an appearance by trumpeter Jack Teagarden) and some gorgeous location photography. But a variety of small problems hold it back from greatness. Grahame doesn't get nearly enough time, although her performance is wonderful as always. The location work is juxtaposed with really bad rear projection shots. The plot has a deadline element that feels very contrived. And right at the climax comes the worst bit of writing in the film, a Gassman monologue delivered to an empty United Nations chamber. I wish I could rate this higher... in general the good does outweigh the bad, but it's still a slight disappointment.
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