Based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene, this is a story of a French advocate Chavel who, while imprisoned by the Germans during the occupation, trades his material possessions... See full summary »
Based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene, this is a story of a French advocate Chavel who, while imprisoned by the Germans during the occupation, trades his material possessions to another prisoner in exchange for his life when condemned to the firing squad. At the end of the war, Chavel, posing as one of the other prisoners, returns to his home which is now occupied by Therese, the sister of the prisoner he traded his possessions to, and who bitterly awaits the return of the man who had indirectly caused the death of her brother. His real identity unknown to Therese, Chavel is invited to stay as a caretaker and to identify Chavel should he return to the house. The relationship between Chavel and Therese develops until one night, someone calling himself Chavel turns up at their doorstep. Written by
Jean Louis Chavel:
Mangeot, listen to me, I won't let you do it. I don't want to die, God knows I don't want to die! But I can't, you've got a family.
Yes. But in my family when we say we're going to do something, we do it. It's too late, we did a deal.
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In the late 1980s, I had just seen Anthony Hopkins in "The Bounty," which together with the earlier "Magic" convinced me he was an actor to watch for; and I had read Graham Greene's recently unearthed little novel "The Tenth Man," when I heard about this TV adaptation. My excited anticipation was not disappointed, and since then I have probably seen this little gem 25 times, often screening it for high school students, who watch in rapt fascination. The plot is amazing -- as only GG could concoct -- and I am still convinced this is Hopkins's best performance. Also superb are Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Cyril Cusack and Brenda Bruce. Production values are strong if not stellar (after all, it's made for TV). Too bad this film is all but unavailable -- you'll have to buy a used VHS online if you want to see it; but you won't be sorry.
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