Like Peter Viertel after him Robert Siodmak was born in Dresden which after 1945 became part of East Germany. Having been more or less obliged to flee a still united Germany one jump ahead of Hitler Siodmak was arguably one mad Kraut when he returned to his homeland to round out his career. Nazi hunters are not, of course, anything new but usually the idea is to bring them to justice but Pierre Brasseur has a new wrinkle; he hunts them down in the interest of making a buck and he's doing very nicely thank you, if anybody asks you, but as we know crime doesn't pay so Brasseur winds up with a sickly smile on his face and a tablet just short of where it will do the most good. This is a fine effort from Siodmak who got in just before The Spy Who Came In From The Cold kick-started a whole new genre in film-making; had enough people seen this at the time this is the one we would be hailing as the prototype. Classy, crisp black and white photography complement a story in which everyone is black; the victims are an East European Rat Pack who don't sing or perform, whose only interest in fact is to prevent Brasseur singing. Highly recommended.
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