Oslo, April 19th 1945, as the Third Reich is living its last days, a group of Nazis and sympathizers (a Wehrmacht general; an SS commander and his "assistant"; an Italian industrialist and his wife who is also the general's lover; a French collaborator) board a submarine that will take them to South America, where they hope to find refuge. While they sail in the Bay of Biscay, off the shores of the liberated French port of Royan, they manage to kidnap a French doctor to have him look after a wounded passenger. Dr Gilbert will be forced to share the restricted space of the submarine with the fugitives. The atmosphere soon becomes unbreathable...Written by
Le docteur Guilbert:
My harmonica. Oh! I was happy to find it again. It reminded me of so many things. Things from before. My youth. Going camping. Helen. Peacetime.
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I give this film five stars although I would rather have given it one star, because of the other reviews posted here. I cannot say for sure that this is René Clement's weakest film but it is by far not his best and it is the weakest I can remember to have seen. It contains the typical Nazi stereotypes that were maybe true, I don't know, but nevertheless boring. Had the Nazis all have been such idiots they could hardly have lasted six years in a war against practically the whole world. True, they were first supported by the west to scare off the Bolsheviks but later on they were pretty much alone against the whole world. When it came out maybe there were not that many films about Nazi stereotypes and so it must have seemed better thenö but I review the film from the impact it could have to day and in that lite it is at best vaguely interesting but on no account whatsoever comparable with Les yeux interdit, for example. I just went through the list of Clements films and of the ones I've seen, this is indeed his weakest.
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