In world war II James Mason is the captain of a warship operating in the street of Gibraltar. Fercetti is the head of Italian submarine, that is hunted by white uniformed Cap. Mason. They meet in neutral Tanger (the submarine needs some repair) and can't avoid to meet each other as well as their hostile crews. Not a sailor is Lilli Palmer, at that time 39 years of age and a really beautiful woman. Facetti falls in love with her, so would I, he gets his submarine going, tries to escape into the Atlantic and has to (really?)torpedo the Brit vessel of Mason. Question ? Do they get help in time ? Mason was in in his next of his many pictures. This one, BETA SOM, wasn't his worst. Not at all. He is opposite Italian star Gabriele Fercetti (80 today and still going)and the film is about a possible friendship and the script divides the world not in good and bad. Of cause there is the usual fight in Rick's Cafe at Tanger, which is well cut by the way. There is luckily no political talk on any level. Great Lilli Palmer is swell to look at and has some quiet lines. Sort of a MacGuffin is penicillin. Good camera work also under water and the mines are placed by the bad cigar smoking Mr. Hodge who also walks some times to see Miss Palmer. Mines are no regular weapon for sailors.
Michael Zabel, Offenbach/Rodenbach
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