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... See full summary »
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John G. Avildsen
George C. Scott,
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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>
Looks great. Proof Brando did great things in the 60's.
If the plot is a little hard to follow at times, Morituri at least looks great. Fantastic black and white cinematography, which provides some great noirish moments, especially below-deck, and Marlon Brando, make this a very beautiful movie to look at. The 60's are generally thought of as Brando's "down period," between his giving up the part of Lawrence of Arabia and ending up being falsely blamed for the project he chose instead of it going over budget, Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), and his massive "comeback" with The Godfather in 1972 (by the way, Marlon's simple reason for his choice between the two projects, was he'd much prefer to be swimming in beautiful Tahiti for three months than stuck in a hot desert for three months!). Because of this myth, Brando afficionadoes seek out movies from this period and test how accurate a reflection of talent and ability public opinion and money-making is. I haven't yet seen all of them, but the example of Morituri suggests that there was no reason to suspect Brando's talents ever dimmed. Some projects he had no respect for, and clearly just walked through the part - but when he cared, and when the director could tell the difference between a "full" take and an empty one, Brando was electric. Morituri is an example where we see Brando at his best. His German accent in this is actually quite good - certainly better than his English accent - and it contains quite a few special Brando moments (like when he is discovered below-deck by someone who isn't aware he shouldn't be there). Jerry Goldsmith's (Omen) score is a highlight. Very Herrmann-esque.
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