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Adventurer James Brennan returns to Istanbul five years after being ejected under suspicion of diamond smuggling. In flashback, he recalls his last days there, his torrid love affair with Stephanie Bauer, the efforts of shady characters to obtain a strange ornament he received from a friend, and Stephanie's disappearance during a fire. Now that Brennan is back, Stephanie (or her double) reappears, and there's still the question of where the supposedly smuggled diamonds are... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Istanbul and the associated reviews are really interesting. Yes it is a bit cliché'd and yes some of the characters are one dimensional. Errol Flynn's acting is unique and there are clearly attempts to refer to film noir (even though this a colour film) and there is an attempt by the film studio to lay this film over the moral dilemma of Casablanca and throw in Nat King Cole and "when I fall in love" as a replacement for Dooley Wilson and Time Goes by. But let us not forget films cost a significant amount of money to make and studios are stupid and they feel that they have to piggy back the film's selling point with another film's Unique selling point...see Altman's The Player....if you need proof.
But actually the pull of this film's USP, namely the love interest's amnesia and Errol Flynn's affection for her are quite striking. The diamond smuggling sub plot works to a degree albeit the villains, as one reviewer says, are rather thinly drawn.
What I found interesting as well was 1950's view of women. There was no depth to the relationship between the lead characters just a suggestion of something deep and intense going on. However floating on a love boat in the Bosphorus was all that explained this "love". Also the potential life after the successful acquisition of the diamonds was hinted without any explanation...and the lead female's new life was ugly to the 21st century mind...a suggestion that she would look after Mr Fielding, (presumably cooking, looking nice and proving oral sex) and in return he would feed and clothe her and take her to places like Istanbul, was contrasted with Marge and her husband, where the husband dished out a black eye because Marge might have been tempted by a Frenchman who would have gone with her to see Hamlet in Turkish was almost risible.
But I stuck with this film to the end and enjoyed the mild threat and laughed at the cloak and dagger stuff........no it's not great but it is worth watching.
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