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The Iron Curtain (1948)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, History | 16 June 1948 (Sweden)
The story of Soviet cypher-clerk Igor Gouzenko who was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa,Canada in 1943 and defected in 1945 to reveal the extent of Soviet espionage activities directed against Canada.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Milton Krims (screenplay), Igor Gouzenko (personal story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Igor Gouzenko
Gene Tierney ... Anna Gouzenko
June Havoc ... Nina Karanova
Berry Kroeger ... John Grubb, aka 'Paul'
Edna Best ... Mrs. Albert Foster
Stefan Schnabel ... Col. Ilya Ranov
Nicholas Joy ... Dr. Harold Preston Norman, aka 'Alec'
Eduard Franz ... Maj. Semyon Kulin
Frederic Tozere Frederic Tozere ... Col. Aleksandr Trigorin (as Frederic Tozère)
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Storyline

Soviet soldier turned bureaucrat Igor Gouzenko is assigned to his first overseas posting in 1943 to Ottawa, Canada, as a cipher clerk for the military attaché, their offices in a secret wing of the Soviet embassy. Igor is not to tell anyone what he does for a living, he given a cover story which he is to recite even when questioned by his own people. He and his wife Anna Gouzenko are supposed to be cordial to their Canadian neighbors and associates, but not fraternize or befriend them, as they are still considered the enemy, despite both countries being on the same side in the war. Igor follows his instructions to a T, but it is more difficult for Anna, who does not have the distraction of work during the day, and who can see that their neighbors are not their enemies but good people much like themselves. Over the next few years, Igor sees that what is happening around him and the work in which he is involved will not result in a world in which he wants to raise his newborn son, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What Was Behind Their Mission... THIS TERROR? See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 June 1948 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Behind the Iron Curtain See more »

Filming Locations:

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director William A. Wellman had directed a young, non-famous Dana Andrews in The Ox-Bow Incident. See more »

Goofs

The invitation shown from the "Associated Friends of Soviet Russia" requests the "honor" of the recipient's company, and later a newspaper headline reads, "Rumor M.P. To Be Arrested In Spy Probe". As the film takes place in Canada, where British spellings are used, the words should have been spelled "honour" and "rumour". See more »

Quotes

Maj. Semyon Kulin: I've got blood on both hands, and I sleep with dead faces on my eyeballs.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 6, Op. 53
Music by Dmitri Shostakovich
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Communist spy film based on a true story
17 August 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Dana Andrews is Igor Gouzenko, a Russian spy in Canada in "The Iron Curtain," a 1948 film based on a true story. Andrews plays a Russian during and after World War II who is sent to work as a code clerk for a ring in Canada; once the bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, the Communists become particularly interested in documents pertaining to it. Eventually his wife (Gene Tierney) joins him and tells him that she is pregnant. With the birth of his son, and the disillusionment of one of the ring (Eduard Franz), whose father was a great leader, Gouzenko slowly begins to realize that he's on the wrong side and decides that he and his family will not return to Russia. He steals important documents from his office with the idea of handing them over to the Department of Justice before his bosses realize what has happened, but fate plays against him. It becomes a race against time to get the documents into the right hands as well as save his family, even if he can't save himself.

Done in semi-documentary style, this is a pretty good propaganda drama with fine performances from an always attractive couple, Andrews and Tierney, and a great performance by Eduard Franz in a showy role. Andrews is one of the few leading men under contract at 20th Century Fox who was served well, particularly once Fox's biggest star, Tyrone Power, went to war; the hard-bitten roles Andrews played in many film noirs have given him a place in film history. Like both Power and John Payne, he was versatile, appearing in every type of film. Not realizing he was trained as an opera singer, the studio dubbed him in "State Fair" - they'd thrown so many non-singers into musicals, it never occurred to them he actually might be one. Alcoholism cut his star years short though he continued to work and speak on behalf of facing up to alcoholism. Tierney's career had its ups and downs due to her personal life as well, but in three films, they made a wonderful couple.

Toward the end, "The Iron Curtain" becomes quite intense and exciting. Well directed by William Wellman, it's worth watching though some may not like its definite propaganda bent.


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