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Brent David Fraser,
Howard W. Campbell, Jr., an American expatriate playwright, Nazi radio propagandist, and Allied spy, writes his memoirs during his pre-trial confinement in 1961 Haifa and learns that people are what they pretend to be. Written by
Erik Gregersen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While they are hiding out, Campbell (Nick Nolte) says to Resi and George, "In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart," a direct quote from "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. See more »
Wartime Allied undercover operative suffers the consequences of his deception, in the process discovering something about himself and about justice.
It's so rare to find a literary work adequately translated to the screen that I may have rated this film higher than it deserves, but not by much. As a long-time student of Vonnegut's works, I have no hesitation in recommending the film to his readers, at least to those that love him as I do. The casting is inspired: Nolte is understated in triumph, bewildered in defeat, decisive in judgment. Sheryl Lee is luscious throughout, but her handling of the treacherous Resi and her tragic crescendo almost makes you forget her beauty. Alan Arkin delivers a totally lovable, but equally treacherous, Soviet spy.
Do not feel you have to read Mother Night to appreciate the film; though, if you haven't read Mother Night, you will probably want to after viewing the film.
Notice the shifts from color to black-and-white and back again, and don't miss the final symbolism of Campbell's noose. Watch, also, for Kurt Vonnegut's cameo near the end of the film.
Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" will never sound the same (I write in mid-December, when the song is getting heavy radio play, and it's driving me nuts).
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