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A German living in India during World War II is blackmailed by the English to impersonate an SS officer on board a cargo ship leaving Japan for Germany carrying a large supply of rubber for tyres. His mission is to disable the scuttling charges so the captain cannot sink the ship if they are stopped by English warships. Written by
Daniel Bruce <email@example.com>
The film's opening camera shot is a close-up of a stone plaque which reads "Morituri Te Salutant" (Those who are about to die salute you) which it is stated in the film as being a Roman Gladiator's salute to Caesar. See more »
Esther's hairstyle is of the Sixties, not the war years. See more »
Back in April 2001, I saw Last Tango In Paris and I've been on a Marlon Brando kick ever since. I read Peter Manso's Brando biography, which states that the film was panned and I really don't understand why.
The film boasts two commanding performances by Brando and Yul Brynner.
Brando plays a German man who's blackmailed by British Intelligence to pose as a NAZI officer on a German ship commanded by Brynner. Brando's German accent was full on the whole way through. And after seeing various Brando films, it was really cool to see Brando play a double agent that was light on his feet, sneaking in and out of rooms on a German ship, in an attempt to sabatoge the ship. The supporting performances are solid all the way around. Trevor Howard has a nice cameo at the beginning of the film as a British Intelligence man.
I've always known about Yul Brynner, but this is the first time I see one of his performances. I can see why he's a legendary actor. The guy has tons of personality and has the acting ability to go with his charisma. And watching him work with Brando was an absolute pleasure. Now I definitely have to go and rent more of Brynner's stuff.
Brando's career presumably took a dive in the 60s, but Morituri is definitely a good movie with excellent performances by its two leads and it boasts some of the best camera work I've ever seen.
On a scale from 1-10, I'd give the film at least an 8.
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