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Budapest 1956. A group of Westerners try to leave the city when Soviet military occupy the country. But the airport is closed down and they have to take a bus to the border. At the border they are stopped by red tape - and Major Surov. The reasons are sketchy, but it seems that the major is romantically interested in one of the westerners, Diana Ashmore. Written by
Set in Hungary in November 1956, this is the story of a group of foreign nationals who were trying to leave the country at the time of the Uprising.
Once the airport is closed, the titular journey begins on a bus taking them to Austria. As would be obvious, they are stopped on their way which is where they come up against the almost faultless Yul Brynner whose military power as a Red Army Major was marked with loneliness, his internal struggle between right and wrong, his search for the truth and his need to feel emotions for other human beings. He was saddened by the fact that his job had alienated him from his friends and enemies alike and he yearned for social contact.
Robert Morley plays the quintessential stiff upper-lipped Englishman who, no matter how serious the role, manages to maintain an almost light-hearted logical outlook on life while Jason Robards has a stunning movie debut which enforces the reason why he had so many roles throughout his career. Deborah Kerr, as the leading lady, exhibits the grace and femininity we have come to associate with her yet manages to bring over the strength and resolve required for her character.
The film deals with a very tempestuous time in European history but it never ceases to remind us that there is good in all of us and you can never completely judge a book by the cover. Fabulous scriptwriting ensures that for all the seriousness of the subject there can still be great one-liners and comedic instances that add to, rather than detract from the movie. The chemistry in the cat and mouse game between Kerr and Brynner makes you understand why they appeared in more than the one film together.
All in all, a thoroughly engrossing movie which I would definitely watch again. 8/10
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