Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Charlotte, a young Scottish woman, who has studied in France, is living in London during World War II. Within weeks she both falls in love with a young pilot and is recruited by the Secret Service to act as a courier for the French Resistance. However her mission behind enemy lines becomes a personal mission to find her lover who has been shot down. Assigned to a Communist Resistance group she encounters acts of betrayal from sometimes unexpected sources, but meets the violence of war and her own disappointment with hope.... Written by
The schoolteacher played by Anton Lesser was called "Benech" in the novel, but the small French town in which much of the movie was based had a popular mayor whose name was similar, so officials asked that the name be changed. He's called "Renech" in the final version. See more »
In the opening shot, a train carrying Charlotte to London is shown crossing a viaduct in the Scottish Highlands. The viaduct in question is the Glenfinnan viaduct, and in the distance you can see the Glenfinnan Monument to Bonny Prince Charlie. The train is clearly traveling North, away from London. See more »
It all seemed so simple. We were at war. The Nazis were the enemy. And because good must triumph over evil, so we would triumph over them. How could we have know that war ever trades in such certainty? That we are nothing is unthinkable. Anything could be true. Even a lie.
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Black Eyed Susan Brown
Master performed by Phil Harris and his orchestra featuring The Three Ambassadors
By courtesy Hindsight Records
Written by Al Hoffman and Al Goodhart
Published by Keith Prowse Music Publishing Co Ltd See more »
An excellent Cate Blanchett in a superior "old school" war/romance
This film has a genuine feel for the grand old tradition of Hollywood war romances. It's elegantly crafted escapism of the highest order, beautiful to look at, with the added bonus of an intelligent script and great performances all around. As I've seen time and again where poor endings mar otherwise good films, I'm always keen on how the curtain falls. This one had what I felt was a great curtain line that nicely tied in the heroine's odyssey of identity confusion and moral ambiguity in the shadow world of undercover war espionage (a "gray" that was more than just her name) to her eventual discovery of self, strength, and purpose as her true character is slowly forged in the crucible of danger and strife. As war brings out the very worst of qualities in humanity, so too can heightened expressions of bravery, compassion, and loyalty serve to greatly ennoble the human spirit in times of blood and sorrow. The movie does a nice job of highlighting that theme in several of its characters. Cate Blanchett does a wonderful job with the title role and this film is a strong 9 out of 10.
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