Berlin in winter. The days are wet and dark, the deeds darker. Thus the scene is set for one of the genre's most enjoyable serious entries. Yes, it's a simple story; there are no madmen with visions of world domination, no fancy gadgets to distract but it's a story told with flair and the swift pace is that of the petty thief on the run, drawn into a high-stakes game of espionage.
Christian-Jaque, director of one of the segments of The Dirty Game, pulls all the elements together this time; a first rate score by Gerard Calvi, a great and varied cast, an excellent script, and appealing locations result in a minor gem. Dutch camera angles abound as we chase the European winter in Berlin, Lucerne, Paris, and Vienna. The look of the film manages to stay just this side of drab, the natural light is weak but the feeling isn't one of hopelessness, rather it's a sort of dignified gloom.
If you're looking for a well-crafted piece of espionage drama that treads the fine line between humor and bleakness, and features a stellar cast at their best, you just found it. As Georges Geret remarks halfway through the film `Spying is no job, it's a profession,' and this is a very professional look at it indeed.
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