|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||15 reviews in total|
I saw this film as a young girl in the sixties and never forgot it. One of
the great pluses in this film is the very deep cast of English character
actors who parade through the story. Not the least of which is Donald
Pleasence. I consider this film the first to bear the, Donald Pleasence is
in it, it must be good, rule. You know, that seal of approval that M.Emmet
Walsh and later J.T. Walsh brought to their work.
I consider this to be Stephen Boyd's best work, and indicative of the career he could have had, had he not been saddled with the "too good looking for his own good" curse that ruined the aspirations of a lot of actors doomed to play shallow roles. As for Delores Hart's final screen performance, goodness only knows what she could have accomplished had she not committed her life to God. One of the great show biz what ifs. But the real star of this movie is the story, with its brutal for its time period, depiction of refugees problems in a post war Europe. Attempting to start anew while unable to escape the horrors of her war time experiences, Lisa is an unwanted and painful reminder of a society that wishes to move on but can't agree on how to handle the problems of thousands of extraneous displaced victims. And how this film refuses to sugar coat the ending, leaving its characters with choices that can only be described as excruciatingly heartbraking and yet uplifting at the same time. The post war experience in Europe was no picnic for the victims or the guilt ridden bystanders. This film will haunt you.
This is a haunting, yet little-known film, beautifully acted, that shows the after-effects of Nazi concentration camp sterilization and torture on a young Jewish girl, as she tries to escape to Palestine after the war. The budding romance between the principal actors adds an extra poignancy to the tale, as they are separated in the dramatic and unforgettable ending. I only wish this film were on video, so that a new audience of young people could learn and benefit from its story.
I believe this was Dolores Hart's last appearance in a movie before she
entered a convent - where she still is today.
I first saw this movie as an impressionable 11-year-old in 1963; even then
thought that Dolores was a refined and beautiful actress: personified by
innate sense of pure innocence and vulnerability - and accentuated by
gorgeous inchoate eyes.
The movie's premise deals with the repatriation - or more accurately the
establishment of the nation of Israel by Jewish refugees following their
release from the concentration camps at the end of W.W.II.
However, the appeal of this movie - to me - was the captivating performance of Dolores Hart: my first on-screen infatuation. Tastefully sentimental.
Lisa is a powerful drama about a German concentration camp refugee, played by Dolores Hart, trying to get to Israel to begin a new life after the war, and the Dutch Police Inspector, played by Stephen Boyd, who decides to help her. The story is gripping and intense and the performances are superb. Both Stephen Boyd and Dolores Hart turn in one of the finest performances of their careers and so does the all-star supporting cast, including Donald Pleasance and Hugh Griffith. Wonderful film for a rainy day afternoon.
This is one of my favorite movies by the actor. Definitely not a miscast and great acting. Also a great story but maybe you would have to be first generation WW II dependent and from Holland to appreciate it's value. The novel by Jan De Hartog is extremely accurate of what went on in post war Europe and I loved this movie. Highly recommend it. Great scenery and tells the tale of the displacement of Holocaust victims as well. This movie did give him another nomination for the Golden Globes and rightly so.
I saw this movie many years ago, when I was in my teens, and then again
when I was in my 20s. I haven't found it since. It was very moving to
me at the time, partly because I really loved Delores Hart and Stephen
Boyd. Alas, Steven Boyd died young, and never got the credit he was due
as an actor while he was alive. And - alas again - Delores Hart's
career was quite short because she left Hollywood at a young age and
entered the convent.
This is an unusual love story between a Dutch detective/police officer, and a young Jewish woman who is more or less stranded in Holland after the war. The detective is emotionally moved by the plight of this young women, and decides to help her get to Palestine. The rest of the movie revolves around their difficult and event-filled journey.
Both Hart and Boyd are wonderful in their roles, and Hart's plight, and Boyd's emotional response and caring for her, are very moving. I believe that Boyd's character represents the European, non-Jews who went out of their way to help Jews during, and after WW II. But his feelings of caring for her, and his response to her particular story (I won't go into detail here about her tragic circumstances) go beyond guilt and just wanting to help. He is very drawn to her, and eventually, she is to him as well.
Anyway, well worth seeing this emotional and atmospheric film. the film is from a book by the writer Jan de Hartog, and it is a very original, unusual story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It all starts in Amsterdam, in fact, not far from the Frank House.
Though it is a slow-moving film, the pace only helps suggest the
parallel between a Holocaust survivor's flight to Palestine and the
Biblical exodus to the Promised Land. What's more, the slow pace allows
generous, revelatory location shoots in London, Tangiers, the open
Mediterranean, and for half the film, when Leo McKern is at the helm of
a barge, the Netherlands.
Dolores Hart brings a rare combination of peachy youth and steely determination to the eponymous role Lisa, the Jewish survivor. And Stephen Boyd proves himself a capable actor at last as the alternate eponym, The Inspector. Many other roles are so brief that they're virtual cameos-- but played by superb British character actors who keep the action lively and entertaining. Particularly wonderful: Hugh Griffith, who seems to have given up bathing entirely for his role as a smuggler beset by bats in his Moroccan apartment.
There are time-line problems. The film is set some time between October 1945 and summer 1946, during the Nuremberg trials, which are referred to. But the most powerful scenes are Auschwitz flashbacks, and at one point, Lisa describes the liberation. As she stumbles past barbed wire, she sees a tank with a Star of David painted on it: "The only Israeli tank in the Allied Armyand I saw it!" She then adds, "Sometimes I don't believe it myself" a wise bit of dialog because Lisa's memory is surely false. Auschwitz was liberated in January, 1945, but by Soviet troops, while the Jewish Brigade (which did indeed fight under the Zionist symbol) was part of the British Army. Furthermore, Israel wasn't a nation until 1948, and the word "Israeli" wasn't in use before then.
But that is a mere quibble. An even more powerful flashback which is both believable and almost unbearable-- takes us to the Auschwitz clinics where, as Lisa says, "They used us for anatomy lessons, like cadavers"-- a statement which is all too historically accurate.
It's not on DVD yet; watch for it on Fox Movie Channel; that's where I found it.
I think this might have been Hart's last film prior to her entering the Convent. She had been a young Jewish girl sent to one of the camps. The war was winding down and she was able to get away from the Nazis. Well some how or other she met this Dutch detective and he promised to help her. It was a very well acted movie and I cannot say much more as it would constitute a spoiler practically in scene by scene. I am disappointed not to find Lisa on any movie channels and the same applies to stores selling movies. It was a poignant rendering what I presume many people I have been come in contact with for the last 4 years. Lee
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw "Lisa" exactly one time, many decades ago, when I was a kid. I
watched it on a black and white TV, late at night, interrupted by many
annoying commercials. I've never forgotten "Lisa": Dolores Hart played
a Holocaust survivor determined, by any means necessary, to get to
Palestine at a time when the British were interdicting such arrivals.
Ruggedly handsome Stephen Boyd was Inspector Jongman. He began by
hindering Lisa's pilgrimage and ended up helping her. For comic relief,
there was Hugh Griffith, a smuggler who used a tennis racket in his
ongoing battle with the bats that invaded his exotic Tangiers apartment
Most importantly, I never shook the feeling that the film aroused in me this film literally made me sick, and terrified, but it also moved and inspired me.
In the intervening years, I read somewhere that "Lisa" was an early attempt to depict the Holocaust in a mainstream Hollywood movie. That just increased my curiosity. Some kind soul has finally posted "Lisa" on youtube and I watched it there.
The title sequence appears over train tracks, rushing rapidly beneath the camera. This allusion to trains rushing to concentration camps felt heavy-handed. The film opens in 1946. Lisa is the pouty, passive cargo of a Nazi white slaver. There's some implausible cloak and dagger stuff the daggers are SS, engraved "blood and honor" and for sale by the Nazi white slaver, a villain with obviously dyed blonde hair and an obviously fake German accent. The Nazi dies; Lisa escapes via a fire escape; investigators suspect that Inspector Jongman murdered the Nazi. The chase / road movie is on. Lisa and Jongman begin a cat-and-mouse odyssey, via Dutch canal barge and smuggler ship, to Palestine.
After my decades-long wait to see "Lisa" again, these opening scenes disappointed me. I thought, "Gee, we've come a long way since 1962. This ain't no "Schindler's List." Lisa is merely an object. The Nazi controls her; the good Dutch man wants her. She volunteered to go with the Nazi, stupidly falling for his lie that he would smuggle her to Palestine. And Lisa is obviously NOT Jewish. Dolores Hart was famously Catholic; she's got bright blue eyes and blond hair. English, Irish, and American actors try, or don't, to speak with slipping and sliding Dutch, German, or Arabic accents.
Lisa is a survivor of medical experimentation at Auschwitz. She had been used "like a cadaver" in gynecological training. Jongman wants to help Lisa because he had failed to help Rachel, his Jewish fiancée. The Holocaust is translated from genocide into a titillating morals charge or the plot twist in a risqué romance novel. Though the center of this crime against women is a woman, Lisa, the film is really all about the men around her: Jongman, the Nazi, the police chasing them, the colorful smugglers aiding them, exploiting them, or ripping them off.
I kept watching, though, and in spite of all the problems, I rediscovered the movie that had so moved me years ago. Lisa's blondeness adds to the horror, in the same way that Jeanne Crain's whiteness added to the impact of "Pinky." Casting a white woman as a victim of Jim Crow, or a Catholic as a Jew, emphasizes that there is no logic nor justice to racism. We humans really ARE one race, and none of us can rely on our putative racial identity, or our physical features, for immunity.
As Bowsley Crowther pointed out in his New York Times review, the film's "lurid" advertisements are not representational of the film's "decent" and "asexual" content. In any case, Lisa's intimate victimization, and her literal sterility, economically and powerfully communicate the Nazis' sadism and nihilism.
There is a scene in this movie that I have never forgotten. Though, in the intervening years, I've seen too much graphic violence, I was afraid to re-watch this scene. Lisa describes how she was used as a medical display. In her flashback, all you see is what Lisa saw: the overheard medical lamps, and doctors' eyes staring at her clinically, as if she were, indeed, a cadaver. Lisa concludes her flashback by saying, "I wanted to say to them, we are people, we are human beings." The scene includes no special effects. It is one of the most high-impact Holocaust scenes, or depictions of dehumanization, that I've ever seen.
Lisa has been betrayed by the world. She survives by telling herself that Palestine is that somewhere-over-the-rainbow that can restore her will to live. Her goal and her intensity are palpable, both poignant and steely.
Dolores Hart is something to behold. She radiates rare beauty and depth. She and Boyd develop genuine chemistry; you come to care about their fate. Robert Stephens, in a small part as an Englishman who is, alternately, oafish, cloying, threatening, and moving, punctuates the final act of the film. There is an ideological smuggler, Brown, who wants to use Lisa to his own purposes; this subplot underlines how sometimes the highest ideals can inspire exploitative behavior. The theme of noble sacrifice is believable and moving.
"Lisa" is based on Jan de Hartog's novel. He was the son of a Dutch minister and a convert to Quakerism. As a child he ran away, and lived on barges. During the war he aided in the hiding of Jewish babies; he hid from the Nazis disguised as a woman. Dolores Hart, who plays Lisa, left Hollywood at the height of her career to become a cloistered nun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a great story along with outstanding actors who show the
struggles of a young woman who is running far away from her past in
Holland and the treatment she received from the Nazi experimental
This young girl captures the eye of a British policemen who understands she wants to go to Palestine and live and is having a hard time trying to secure passage which is very expensive. The policeman agrees to stay with her until she reaches her destination.
This couple encounter all kinds of crooks and some very good hearted people who are willing to help them secure passage to Palestine.
This man and woman begin to fall in love but the woman does not want any physical contact with the man and tells him we can never get married.
Good story and worth viewing over and over as a reminder of a horrible past that happened to the Jewish nation and other countries.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|