Toward the end of World War II, the allied secret service receives a partial message indicating that the Germans are researching nuclear energy to build atomic bombs. In Midwestern University, the scientist Alvah Jesper is called up by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to meet his former colleague Dr. Katerin Lodor in Switzerland and bring her to North America. However, his mission fails and Dr. Lodor is killed by the Nazis but first she informs that Alvah's acquaintance Dr. Giovanni Polda is working for the Nazis in Italy. Dr. Jesper travels to Italy and with the support of the Italian partisans leaded by Pinkie and Gina, he has a meeting with Dr. Polda that is under the surveillance of the Gestapo. The scientist tells him that his daughter Maria had been abducted by the Gestapo and Alvah makes a deal with Dr. Polda, promising to release Maria first and bringing them to North America. While Pinkie travels to rescue Maria, Alvah stays with Gina and they fall in love for each ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 3, 1948 with Lilli Palmer reprising her film role. See more »
Archiveablishing footage of Switzerland goes back to about 1920, based on the vintage women's fashions and automobiles briefly seen, even though it's supposed to be contemporary mid 1940's WWII era. See more »
Resistance radio operator:
Thought you'd never show up.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: Toward the end of the war... the mountain border of Southern France. See more »
Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald (Tales from the Vienna Woods), Op. 325
Music by Johann Strauss
Hummed and danced by Gina in the apartment See more »
has its moments
While this is probably the first Fritz Lang film I wasn't overwhelmingly impressed with (well, maybe Siegfried, too), it does have a couple of things that make it really worth watching. Cooper's fury as a scientist early on in the movie railing against the amount of money the government pays for the development of killing machines, as opposed to curing diseases and making the world a better place, is beautiful and gave me chills. It's an incredibly powerful expression of grief and outrage in the wake of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (this movie came out only a year after the end of the war). Also, there's an INCREDIBLE fight scene late in the movie, in which Cooper's character (who's really a professor, and just an ordinary man, not a hardened fighter) struggles with an Italian spy. I don't think Lang is known for his fight scenes, but this one is a masterpiece. There's no Jackie Chan flying over tables, swinging on chandeliers, or kicking people through walls; instead, you have an ordinary man struggling with a somewhat superior opponent, in a very realistic, very brutal fight scene. A lot of small, practical self-defense moves I remember my dad teaching me when I was young are employed in this fight, including stomping on someone's instep and a couple of simple arm grapples. The action is extremely believable and practical, and the combat is savage, between two men fighting desperately for their lives. No one watches Fritz Lang movies for the fight scenes, but this one's really one of the highlights of this otherwise "eh" film--it's extremely well-done, and very surprising for a 1940s movie.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this