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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>
Moralist and Dated Love Story with Elements that Slightly Recalls Casablanca
When the pilot James Brennan (Errol Flynn) returns to Istanbul, the local Inspector Nural (John Bentley) questions him in the airport about the objective of his voyage and also about some missing diamonds. James checks in the hotel and asks for his former room 424; however he goes to the bar to drink vodka, where he recalls his love affair with Stephanie Bauer (Cornell Borchers) five years ago. James and Stephanie are in love for each other; when James travels to Cairo with his plane transporting some cargo for a client, he visits his friend Aziz Rakim (Vladimir Sokoloff) to buy a wedding gift for Stephanie since he intends to propose her. Aziz sells an expensive bracelet for US$ 50.00 only, and when James returns to Istanbul, he finds two hundred thousand dollars in diamonds hidden inside the bracelet. But the gang of Mr. Darius (Martin Benson) chases the smuggled diamonds with James, who denies the existence of the stones. The criminals attack Stephanie in her apartment and when her building is on fire, she disappears and her body is never identified. On the present days, while in the hotel trying to retrieve the diamonds hidden in the ventilator of his former room, James sees Stephanie and she claims to be Karen Fielding and well-married with Douglas Fielding (Torin Thatcher). James tries to help Stephanie to recall who she is while Darius's gangsters chase him seeking the diamonds.
"Istanbul" is a moralist and dated love story, but also entertaining. The music score is fantastic, probably the best in this movie, with the awesome Nat King Cole singing "When I fall in Love". The story has many similarities that slightly recall the masterpiece "Casablanca", like for example, the lead character missing a lost love that reappears some time later with another man; a wonderful song (in Casablanca, the stunning "As Time Goes By" by Dooley Wilson); the tickets are replaced by smuggled diamonds; there is an inspector chasing the lead character. Therefore, the story is visibly inspired but without the charming of "Casablanca" and with a conclusion too corny for my taste. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Istambul" ("Istanbul")
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