IMDb > Torn Curtain (1966)
Torn Curtain
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Torn Curtain (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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Torn Curtain -- An American scientist publicly defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin and then figuring out a plan to escape back to the West.

Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   16,155 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Brian Moore (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Torn Curtain on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
July 1966 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Suspense! Azione! Sorpresa! [Suspense! Action! Surprise!] See more »
Plot:
An American scientist publicly defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin and then figuring out a plan to escape back to the West. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of Hitchcock's best - and I can prove it See more (127 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Newman ... Professor Michael Armstrong

Julie Andrews ... Sarah Sherman

Lila Kedrova ... Countess Kuchinska

Hansjörg Felmy ... Heinrich Gerhard (as Hansjoerg Felmy)

Tamara Toumanova ... Ballerina
Wolfgang Kieling ... Hermann Gromek
Ludwig Donath ... Professor Gustav Lindt
Günter Strack ... Professor Karl Manfred
David Opatoshu ... Mr. Jacobi
Gisela Fischer ... Dr. Koska
Mort Mills ... Farmer
Carolyn Conwell ... Farmer's Wife
Arthur Gould-Porter ... Freddy - the Bookseller
Gloria Gorvin ... Fräulein Mann
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elisabeth Alexander ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Chris Anders ... Blond Aide to Mr. Gerhard (uncredited)
Ilonka Bargel ... East Berlin Housewife (uncredited)
Charles Bastin ... University Judge (uncredited)
John Bleifer ... Danish Waiter at Hotel D'Angleterre (uncredited)
Robert Boon ... Professor Winkelmann (uncredited)
Peter Bourne ... Professor Olaf Hengström (uncredited)
Burt Brandon ... Norwegian Steward with Cablegramm (uncredited)
Heinz Brinkmann ... Man in Qeue at Post Office (uncredited)
Gudi Burwell ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Barry Cahill ... American Correspondent (uncredited)
Linda Carol ... Dancer (uncredited)
Rico Cattani ... Heinrich - Escape Bus Driver (uncredited)
Robert Champion ... Regular Bus Driver (uncredited)
Andrea Darvi ... Gretl Koska (uncredited)
Hans Difflipp ... Vice Minister Strauss (uncredited)
Maurice Doner ... Hugo - Baggage Manager (uncredited)
Harold Dyrenforth ... Otto Haupt (uncredited)
Horst Ebersberg ... East German Interpreter (uncredited)
Lester Fletcher ... East Berlin Travel Agent (uncredited)
Walter Friedel ... Stasi Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Ben Frommer ... Sceptical-Looking Airline Passenger (uncredited)
Lili Garner ... Romanian Airline Stuartist (uncredited)
Larry Gelbman ... Swedish Crane Operator (uncredited)
Bill Glover ... British Correspondent (uncredited)
Gino Gottarelli ... Second Russian Army Deserter (uncredited)
Horst Graf ... University Judge (uncredited)
Winfried H. Grupe ... Blond Twin Brother on Bus (uncredited)
Laurence Haddon ... American Correspondent (uncredited)
Sasha Harden ... Border Guard (uncredited)
Joe Harris ... Ballet Member (uncredited)
Mischa Hausserman ... Idealistic Young Man (uncredited)
Peter Hellman ... East German Ship's Officer (uncredited)
Hans Heyde ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man in Hotel Lobby with Baby (uncredited)
Erik Holland ... Hotel Travel Clerk (uncredited)
Ike Ivarsen ... Swedish Officer (uncredited)
Walter Janovitz ... Elderly Man on Bus (uncredited)
Nancy Kilgas ... Ballet Member (uncredited)
Danny Klega ... Motorcycle Officer (uncredited)
Lidia Kristen ... Woman in black on Bus (uncredited)
Manfred Lating ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Max Lewin ... Stage Manager (uncredited)
Peter Lorre Jr. ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Curt Lowens ... Vopo Officer at Roadblock (uncredited)
Jan Malmsjö ... Swedish Photographer (uncredited)
Hedley Mattingly ... Airline Official (uncredited)
Gitta Maynard ... Woman in Qeue at Post Office (uncredited)
Norbert Meisel ... Factory Manager (uncredited)
Frank Oberschall ... Airport Security Man (uncredited)
Michael Panaieff ... Ballett Manager (uncredited)
George Perina ... Professor Schroeder (uncredited)

Gerd Rein ... East German Arresting Officer in Bus Sequence (uncredited)
Marion Rensing ... Idealistic Girl on Bus (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Guard in Post Office (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller ... Professor Gutman (uncredited)
Maria Schroeder ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Peter Scott ... University Judge (uncredited)
Britt Semand ... Magda (uncredited)
Paul Sorensen ... Swedish Immigration Officer (uncredited)
Hermine Sterler ... Old Woman entering at Bus Stop (uncredited)
Lyle Sudrow ... Swedish Captain (uncredited)
Albert Szabo ... Herr Albert (uncredited)
Leni Tana ... Woman in Qeue at Post Office (uncredited)
Jim Taylor ... Dancer (uncredited)
Matthias Uitz ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Maya Van Horn ... East Berlin Housewife (uncredited)
Eva van Oyen ... Motherly Woman on Bus (uncredited)
Jarl Victor ... Norwegian Purser (uncredited)
Hans von Burhofer ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Wilhelm von Homburg ... Blonde Twin in Bus (uncredited)
Karen von Unge ... Norwegian Radio Operator (uncredited)
Willem Wanrooy ... Post Office Clerk (uncredited)
Rick West ... Norwegian Purser (uncredited)
William Yetter Sr. ... Man in Qeue at Post Office (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
Brian Moore (written by)

Willis Hall  contributor to screenplay (uncredited)
Keith Waterhouse  contributor to screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Alfred Hitchcock .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
John Addison 
 
Cinematography by
John F. Warren (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Bud Hoffman (film editor)
 
Production Design by
Hein Heckroth 
 
Art Direction by
Frank Arrigo 
 
Set Decoration by
George Milo 
 
Makeup Department
Jack Barron .... make-up supervision
Lorraine Roberson .... hair stylist
Hal Saunders .... hair stylist: Miss Andrews
Peter R.J. Deyell .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Jack Corrick .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Donald Baer .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Joe Alves .... assistant art director (uncredited)
John Boswell .... set designer (uncredited)
John W. Corso .... set designer (uncredited)
Joseph Musso .... production illustrator (uncredited)
William 'Bill' O'Brien .... set designer (uncredited)
Mort Rabinowitz .... set illustrator (uncredited)
Peter Wooley .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
William Russell .... sound
Waldon O. Watson .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
Albert Whitlock .... pictorial designs
 
Stunts
David Sharpe .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Leonard J. South .... camera operator (as Leonard South)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edith Head .... costume designer: Miss Andrews
Grady Hunt .... costume supervisor
 
Music Department
John Addison .... conductor (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Peggy Robertson .... assistant: Mr. Hitchcock
Lois Thurman .... script supervisor
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
128 min | Germany:126 min | France:126 min | Netherlands:118 min
Country:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:12 (re-rating) (video) | Italy:VM14 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:PG | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The Scenes with Gromek's older brother was originally part of the final cut. Wolfgang Kieling (Gromek in this film) wrote in his autobiography that it was Paul Newman who wanted Gromek's older brother scenes to be removed from the final cut. Wolfgang Kieling also played Gromek's older brother. Bernard Herrmann composed 2 cues for Gromek's brother scenes. They are called "Photos" and "Sausage."See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: Reflected in the window of the farmhouse as Armstrong enters.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Professor Karl Manfred:Are they ever going to get the heating fixed?
Norwegian crewman:They are working at it, Professor. Perhaps some of you scientists would like to give us a helping hand!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Emperor Waltz (Kaiserwalzer, Op. 437)See more »

FAQ

Is it true that Hitchcock wanted to use a different ending?
Why did the Pi woman on the bus get so upset to be helping Americans escape?
Does Armstrong get the formula for which he "defected"?
See more »
20 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
One of Hitchcock's best - and I can prove it, 16 July 2001
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia

Between "The Birds" and "Frenzy" Hitchcock made three consecutive critical and box office failures: "Marnie (1964), "Torn Curtain" (1966), and "Topaz" (1969). It's natural to want to rehabilitate one or other of these, and most fans and critics, following (of course) François Truffaut, pick "Marnie". But the real hidden gem is "Torn Curtain".

People have found all manner of trivial things to complain about. The leads, it is said, aren't Hitchcock leads. Julie Andrews certainly isn't: unlike most of Hitchcock's American actresses, she imbues her character with warmth and good sense, qualities that may well be out of place in other films - certainly they'd be out of place in "Marnie" - but which are needed here. And Paul Newman is as convincing and sympathetic a Hitchcock hero as any other. ANY other, including my personal favourite, Robert Donat. It's hard not to like Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, but (this cannot be denied) for some reason they're never at their best in Hitchcock films. Paul Newman is.

Then there's the score - everyone has to take turns sinking their boots into the musical score. Yes, it's not by Bernard Herrmann. Yes, Bernard Herrmann was unceremoniously dumped from the project. Yes, Bernard Herrmann was one of Hollywood's best composers. Yes, if his score had been used instead (not that I've heard it), it would probably have changed the character of the film. For the best? That's hard to say. There's more than one musical personality capable of complementing a Hitchcock film, and if you ask me Miklós Rózsa ("Spellbound") and John Williams ("Family Plot"), writing very differently, do just as well as Herrmann would have with similar material. John Addison's score for "Torn Curtain" isn't quite as good, but it's pleasant, and it casts a warm glow over chilly grey surroundings, just as the photography does. And everyone admits the photography is wonderful - Technicolor greys and beiges, with flashes of red. Hitchcock had never been quite this good with colour before. (And no wonder. I just noticed this in the credits: the production designer was the Hein Heckroth - in fact, it was his last film. His first was "The Red Shoes".)

Moreover it's one of Hitchcock's better stories. A man is sent to a foreign country on a mission he finds distasteful; his girlfriend follows him, suspicious about what he's planning to do; they must escape together. It's one of those stories where we can happily follow one party or the other without feeling cheated out of the other storyline. It was Hitchcock's first stab at the "distasteful mission" theme since "The Secret Agent" (1936), which was a failure - not BECAUSE the hero's mission was distasteful to us, but simply because it wasn't a good film in other regards. Hitchcock was wrong to think that when a character does dirty things we'll cease to like him. There's such a thing as moral sympathy: the compromising moral position into which Michael is pushed makes us care about him all the more.

I'll never understand critical consensus about Hitchcock. When he takes one of his successful British films ("The 39 Steps"), one that can hardly be improved upon, and makes a pale imitation of it ("North by Northwest"), critics and audiences cheer. When he takes one of his weaker and more muddled British films and turns it into gold, nobody, not even Hitchcock himself, has a kind word to say. I don't get it. "Torn Curtain" has two fantastic scenes as good as anything Hitchcock ever did (the fight with Gromek, the consultation with the East German scientist) and one of his best bit-part characters (the older middle-aged woman who wants to migrate to America). And there's nothing - NOTHING - wrong with the rest of it.

Was the above review useful to you?
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