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   19,271 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 69% 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 before planning an escape back to the West. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Torn Curtain is no rip off See more (141 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 Govrin ... Fräulein Mann
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elisabeth Alexander ... Bus Passenger (uncredited)
Chris Anders ... Blond Aide to Mr. Gerhard (uncredited)

Frank Baker ... Bearded Man in Restaurant (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)
William 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)

Leoda Richards ... Woman Backstage (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 Levinson .... dga trainee (uncredited)
 
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)
Doug Mathias .... lighting technician (uncredited)
 
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)
Ethmer Roten .... musician: flute (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Peggy Robertson .... assistant: Mr. Hitchcock
Lois Thurman .... script supervisor
Eva Sampson .... German dialogue coach: general assistant (uncredited)
 
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) | Finland:K-16 | France:Tous publics | Germany:12 (video re-rating) | Italy:VM14 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #21165) | USA:PG (certificate #28606) (1984) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In a 1986 interview, Anthony Perkins claimed that Alfred Hitchcock wanted to cast him as Professor Armstrong, but the studio was adamantly against the idea.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Paul Newman is riding on the tractor, they are clearly driving down a dirt road. When they stop, he gets off and the tractor turns around. Behind the tractor is a plowed field, not a road.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:
Referenced in Unrequited Love (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Torn Curtain Love Theme (End Title)See more »

FAQ

Why did the Pi woman on the bus get so upset to be helping Americans escape?
Is "Torn Curtain" based on a novel?
Why did Professor Armstrong defect to East Germany?
See more »
29 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
Torn Curtain is no rip off, 2 November 2005
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas

Too bad Hitchcock had to create this film in 1966. The spy vs. spy craze was at its height with super-spy James Bond played by ebullient Sean Connery at the top of the movie ladder. Dozens of Cold War espionage thrillers were marketed that year. Even non-spy films touched on espionage from time to time. Adding to the spy mill in 1966 were several espionage television series including the classic spy spoof show "Get Smart," created by the comedic giants Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. So to most movie goers of the day "Torn Curtain" was just another film capitalizing on the spy vs. spy trend. "Torn Curtain," however, is one of Hitchcock's best with two scenes that are among his most intense, the almost endless killing of communist agent Hermann Gromek, played with skill by Wolfgang Kieling, and the bus getaway that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The crying fire in a crowded theater is exciting but predictable--the viewer is just waiting for Professor Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) to jump from his seat and yell.

Lovely Julie Andrews has a juicy role as Dr. Sarah Louise Sherman, the soon to be Mrs. Armstrong if the good professor doesn't run away and leave her. When my wife watched this movie for the first time, she asked in a surprising tone of voice, "Is that really Paul Newman and Julie Andrews together?" This unlikely combination works. It works better than the movies Newman made with his wife, Joanne Woodward. The role of Dr. Sherman is also somewhat unique in that she is unwittingly involved in espionage without her knowledge, following her fiancée to Communist East Germany without knowing that he is on an extremely dangerous assignment which only a nuclear scientist can carry out.

Hitchcock's film making was beginning to taper off in the twilight of his years. But the masterful hand was still orchestrating film techniques highly original and creative. Lesser directors would have used just anyone to play the small but significant part of the prima donna Countess Kuchinska. Instead Hitchcock searched and found just the right person with the right face and attitude for the role. Lila Kedrova was chosen because she could actually sing opera and because her face and mannerisms stand out in a crowd. In her first appearance when she is getting off the plane, she becomes agitated because Professor Armstrong is receiving all the attention from the press. Hitchcock zooms the camera in for a closeup of her face with its distinctive features. It's well over an hour later that Countess Kuchinska reappears. This reappearance is crucial for the development of the film. Because of Hitchcock's methods, the viewer automatically recognizes the Countess, instantly remembering that she had been upset with Professor Armstrong because of all the attention taken away from her and showered on the professor. She definitely has an ax to grind.

Though it has not received much attention compared with many other Hitchcock films, "Torn Curtain" is among his best and should be savored by all. Even though political conditions have flip flopped since 1966 and there is no longer a communist East Germany, this Cold War delicacy is worth a bite. Oh, and watch the somewhat hidden ironic humor at the beginning where there's a room full of top scientists during the Cold War and the heat doesn't work.

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