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The Great Manhunt (1950)

State Secret (original title)
In post-WW2 Europe, when the dictator of a small police state dies during surgery, the operating surgeon, who's a visiting American doctor, is held captive in order to preserve the terrible state secret.

Director:

Sidney Gilliat

Writers:

Roy Huggins (novel), Sidney Gilliat (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Acclaimed heart surgeon Sean Marlowe is invited to operate on the President of a war-torn country. When Sean gets there, his wife is kidnapped and he's told he must kill the President, not save him - or his wife will die.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Dr. John Marlowe
Jack Hawkins ... Colonel Galcon
Glynis Johns ... Lisa Robinson
Walter Rilla ... General Niva
Karel Stepanek ... Dr. Revo
Herbert Lom ... Karl Theodor
Hans Olaf Moser Hans Olaf Moser ... Sigrist (as Hans Moser)
Guido Lorraine Guido Lorraine ... Lieutenant Prachi
Robert Ayres ... Arthur J. Buckman
Howard Douglas ... Clubman
Martin Boddey ... Clubman
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Clubman
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Clubman
Carl Jaffe Carl Jaffe ... Janovic Prada / Tugboat Captain
Gerard Heinz ... Tomasi Bendel
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Storyline

Visiting in England, famed American surgeon Doctor John Marlowe is decoyed to a middle European country, and discovers the operation he is to perform is on the Vosnian dictator. When the latter dies, he is replaced by a look-alike, but Marlowe is the object of a shoot-to-kill, vicious pursuit by the secret police of Vosnia since it is vital to Vosnia that the dictator's death does not become known. Fleeing, he seeks help from an English-speaking actress, Lisa Robinson, and the two are harried across the countryside before being captured. (Produced by the British team of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat "in association with London Films" and released in the U.S. by Columbia Pictures Corporation.) Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ADVENTURE SWEEPING ACROSS A CONTINENT! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1950 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Manhunt See more »

Filming Locations:

Dolomites, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is set in the mythical country of "Vosnia", which, according to director Sidney Gilliat, was meant to suggest either Spain (to left-wingers) or what was then Yugoslavia (to right-wingers). A special "Vosnian" language was devised for the film by Georgina Shield, a teacher at the London School of Languages, and several of the actors took lessons in how to speak it over a period of several days, as it is extensively heard in the film. See more »

Goofs

At the 'river docks', a London bus is visible in the background passing over the bridge. The stern of the 'barge' shown is also very clearly that of an English narrowboat, found nowhere on the Continent. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John Marlowe: They tell me that in some parts of the world musicians are finding it increasingly difficult to compose non-political music, so it's very gratifying to think that a doctor can still perform a non-political operation.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beyond Recognition (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Paper Doll
(uncredited)
Written by Johnny Black
See more »

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User Reviews

An exciting suspense thriller
8 September 1999 | by pd-1See all my reviews

Fairbanks, in his most natural style makes you believe he is a gifted surgeon. He is "kidnapped" by a country to perform a delicate operation on its leader. Things go wrong and, of course, Fairbanks is in danger of being killed to silence his knowledge. I viewed this film a a local theatre in Los Angeles as "State Secret" and later I could see that other writers "borrowed" many of the twists and turns for later productions. Herbert Lom has a nice part and clearly establishes his talent for future films. Jack Hawkins is at his menacing best. Although there are some cute things to laugh at, this film is not a comedy as stated on the cover page, but an exciting chase that keeps you on the edge of your seat.


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