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Shining Through (1992)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,755 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 16 critic

An American woman of Irish, Jewish-German parentage goes undercover in Nazi Germany.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Shining Through (1992)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ed Leland
...
Linda Voss
...
Franze-Otto Dietrich
...
Margrete Von Eberstein
...
Sunflower
...
Andrew Berringer
Patrick Winczewski ...
Fishmonger
Anthony Walters ...
Dietrich's Son
Victoria Shalet ...
Dietrich's Daughter
Sheila Allen ...
Olga Leiner, Margrete's Mother
Stanley Beard ...
Linda's Father
...
Linda's Mother
Ronald Nitschke ...
Horst Drescher
...
Hedda Drescher
Peter Flechtner ...
S.S. Officer at Fish Market
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Storyline

1940, Linda Voss is a woman of Irish, Jewish-German parentage who loves the movies, especially films about war and spies. She gets a job at a New York law firm, after it's revealed she can speak German, fluently. As secretary and translator to Ed Leland, she begins to suspect that her boss is involved in espionage work. The two become lovers, and when America officially joins the Allies in fighting Hitler, Linda volunteers to go undercover behind enemy lines. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He needed to trust her with his secret. She had to trust him with her life.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uma Luz na Escuridão  »

Box Office

Gross:

$21,733,781 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

| (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Liam Neeson works with his future sister-in-law, Joely Richardson. See more »

Goofs

Linda states that they heard the radio broadcast telling of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Sunday morning (they were still in bed in the midst of breakfast dishes), however they were in New York at the time, so it would have been early afternoon New York time. See more »

Quotes

Linda Voss: [reciting what she has noticed in the room] Pictures of sailing boats and polo ponies, fancy books and diplomas, stuffed fish on the wall, calendar set to the wrong date, bookcases that are dusty, carpets that need cleaning, and a couple of guys from Harvard who are surprised that a girl who needs a job won't be treated like a slave.
Ed Leland: Are always like this?
Linda Voss: I forgot to tell you, my other half's Irish.
Ed Leland: Lethal combination.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Worst of '92 (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight Sweetheart
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell, Rudy Vallee and Reginald Connelly (as Reg Connelly)
See more »

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User Reviews

Leaden, Ludicrous World War Two Spy Saga
4 July 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Melanie Griffith plays Linda, a jewish American girl who volunteered to enter Nazi Germany as a spy. She tells her story in flashback, an old woman relating her adventures to a BBC documentary crew.

Griffith is improbable as the shrewd, resourceful, bilingual Linda. Her 'all-American girl' style of delivery is grating and inappropriate. Michael Douglas, as Ed Leland, makes a passable spy hero, but his character's unwillingness to learn the German language doesn't make any kind of sense, given that he spends most of his working life strutting around Berlin in a Nazi uniform. Sir John Gielgud plays 'Sunflower', 'our' agent in Berlin. Gielgud goes through the motions, as Gielgud usually does, without acting at all. Otto Dietrich, the high-ranking Nazi, is played fairly convincingly and with dignity by Liam Neeson. Joely Richardson is reasonable, even if her character (Margrete von Everstein) is a welter of ill-thought-out nonsense.

David Seltzer wrote and directed this rather lame thriller, and packed it with historical inaccuracies and implausible plot points. The teenage Linda is asked in the course of her job interview to stand and give a twirl, so that the men can get a look at her. She refuses on feminist grounds. This is simply unbelievable, and shows a complete lack of sympathy for the mores and attitudes of a historical period which doesn't happen to be the present day.

Cliche bogs this movie down and robs it of any sense of freshness or vitality that it might have had. For no very good reason, we get a sombre 'Pearl Harbor' moment, even though America's entry into the war is irrelevant to the plot. Espionage in Germany means that the German and spy-movie stereotypes have to be trotted out, so apfel strudel, schnapps and the microfilming of secret documents all find their way into the story. Nazi border guards just have to have slavering alsatian dogs.

Part of the film's problem is a clumsy script which contains some horribly clunking lines. Such mouthfuls as, "What 's a war for, if not to hold onto what we love?" grate on the ear. The German security forces are referred to in heavy-handed purple prose as "Hitler's dreaded stormtroopers".

Continuing the run of blatant improbabilities, Sunflower and Linda board a German train and immediately start discussing Drescher in English - two mind-boggling lapses in security. And would Sunflower use the polite 'ihre' form when addressing a working-class girl?

In order to give the plot some dramatic contours, events are introduced which could never have happened in real life. The film sacrifices credibility for the sake of a cheap shot.

The finale at the border crossing is too silly to merit criticism.


27 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Griffith's character a bit like Palin - underrated, mocked-- acheapmom
The book was far far better than the movie... bittermilk
One of my favorites karen-bruines
What was the song when... Ed Leland seeinf Linda.. curitibanametida
Melanie Griffith's German lbleichenbacher
The opera lishol7-1
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