One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was first telecast in Seattle Wednesday 17 June 1959 on KIRO, in Minneapolis 28 August 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Philadelphia 16 November 1959 on WCAU (Channel 10), and in Los Angeles 8 January 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 6 February 2012 in tandem with Shanghai Express (1932) by Turner Classic Movies and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and has also enjoyed an occasional airing on cable TV on TCM. See more »
Well now this is just very silly. As others have pointed out, Victor McLaglen acts his best but is fatally miscast - too rigid, charmless, snide and creepy in a role that is crying out for a Clark Gable or Cary Grant.
On the other hand Dietrich was never more beautiful, and you can feel Sternberg's worshipping of her through the camera lens. The photography is luscious and the BluRay restoration a joy. Warner Oland has a small role as something other than Charlie Chan, which is very odd to see.
The story, dialogue and characters are thoroughly unbelievable at every turn, and the whole thing, really, is just a delirious but delightful mess, a stilted, fevered, nonsensical fairytale dream about spies, but no less likeable for all that. Accept it and love it for what it is, because it isn't like anything else.
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