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Jessie Royce Landis
THE CAPTIVE CITY (Joseph Anthony and Mario Chiari, 1962) **1/2
This is an unusual WWII film involving a small group of mixed nationalities of both sexes (English, American, Egyptian, Greek) besieged in an Athens hotel by the raggedy but vast army commandeered by a rebel leader all for possession of a Nazi arsenal secreted in the building's cellar. The plot is also interesting because it transpires that one of their number is a traitor so that the film features elements of the thriller genre amid standard excitements and political/anti-war messages.
Being an international production, the film has the value of good casting David Niven (in a role similar to the one he played in THE GUNS OF NAVARONE ), Lea Massari, Ben Gazzara, Martin Balsam, Michael Craig (as the surprise villain), Daniela Rocca, Percy Herbert, etc. while also suffering from the lumpiness typical of such ventures. It's still worth watching, however; unfortunately, the Italian TV reception throughout the broadcast was problematic as the image and audio kept going off intermittently! Incidentally, the film was cut down from the original 108-minute version to 87 minutes for the U.S., where it was also renamed THE CONQUERED CITY.
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