A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
Professor Michael Armstrong is heading to Copenhagen to attend a physics conference accompanied by his assistant-fiancée Sarah Sherman. Once arrived however, Michael informs her that he may be staying for awhile and she should return home. She follows him and realizes he's actually heading to East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain. She follows him there and is shocked when he announces that he's defecting to the East after the US government canceled his research project. In fact, Michael is there to obtain information from a renowned East German scientist. Once the information is obtained, he and Sarah now have to make their way back to the West. Written by
Wolfgang Kieling ("Gromek") wrote in his autobiography that it was Paul Newman who wanted Gromek's older brother scenes to be removed from the final cut. Bernard Herrmann composed two cues for Gromek's brother scenes. They are called "Photos" and "Sausage." See more »
A few snippets of dialogue in the scenes in the East German university clearly show that the extras are Americans. See more »
Professor Karl Manfred:
Are they ever going to get the heating fixed?
They are working at it, Professor. Perhaps some of you scientists would like to give us a helping hand!
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This hardly ever appears in the lists of the master's best films, but it is a real gem - superbly acted, inventively filmed with great music, dialogue and plot. Julie Andrews and Paul Newman work really well together - a very sexy scene early in the film is a delight, filmed in extreme close-up. And Lila Kedrova's cameo is Oscar worthy. This is also a memorable look at the Cold War at its height, and although the pro-West propaganda is a little thick at times, there is still a sense of the absurdity of the situation. And there is a murder scene of unbelievable savagery that really left me shaken - excellent work here from Newman and Carolyn Conwell. The most memorable scene is the bus pursuit sequence, and the theatre audience turning into an hysterical mob when Newman yells "fire" is a great Hitchcock moment. One of his best cameo appearances too. I think this film deserves re-examination.
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