In 1947, with only months remaining until the partition of British-administered Palestine, an American freighter captain smuggles European Jewish refugees ashore under the nose of the British authorities.
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Cynical freighter captain Mike Dillon hopes to take the money and run after helping to smuggle Jewish refugees ashore in pre-Israel Palestine. But against his will, he's drawn into the escalating fight between British occupation forces and the founders of Israel. In a battle doubly terrible because the audience sympathizes with both sides, how long can Mike remain a bystander?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Jeff Chandler, a Jew whose real name was Ira Grossel, was extremely proud of his Jewish heritage. Kurta was the only explicitly Jewish character he ever got to play in his career. See more »
Col. Bruce Evans:
What an extraordinary people. Do they think we relish our position as policemen in this god-forsaken land?
Perhaps they prefer that we forsake it, Sir - and let God police it.
Col. Bruce Evans:
But we have agreed to leave, if they can reach an agreement with the Arabs on partition. But if we pull out before there's an agreement between them, the entire Middle East may go up in flames. And with it, the world. No, Stephens, this isn't a Jewish or Arab or British problem. This is the problem of all mankind.
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Shallow but Recommended as a Curioso and Reference for Today
Obscure and Somewhat Shallow, this Attempt at Shedding Some Light on the Contemporary Middle East-Palestine-British-Israel Situation/Conflict in 1947 is Hardly Anything More than a Lopsided Account of a Few Boatloads of Refugees Being Subjugated in the British Controlled Region.
As Entertainment, it is an OK Movie. As History Not so Much. At the Time the British were so Incensed that the Film was Banned in that Country for Decades. Elsewhere this Hot-Button Movie was Barely Seen and the Distribution was Minimal and Forget TV. That is Until Recently Thanks to TCM. So there is a Chance to See it Today.
The Cast Playing Mostly Stereotypes does OK with the Material but it is Heavy-Handed Most of the Time and the Christian Persuasion with the Christmas Time Setting, the Carol Singing, and the Heaven Sent Ending is Hokey, but was a Cheap way of Swaying Folks to the Cause.
It is a bit Creepy when the British put the Jewish Refugees, Including Children with Raggedy Ann Dolls in Tow, in a Barbed Wire Encampment (more heavy-handedness), that must have Weirded Out Post War Audiences and Angered More than a Few People. The British were Definitely Portrayed in this Film as Nazi-Lite.
There are a Few Lines from British Commanders about Not Wanting to Be There. "We should let God police the area." Overall it is Worth a Watch for its Place in Hollywood History. A "Lost" Curioso that Certainly hasn't "Lost" any of its Relevance if You Look at Today's Headlines.
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