Based on a true story. In neutral Turkey during WWII, the ambitious and extremely efficient valet for the British ambassador tires of being a servant and forms a plan to promote himself to rich gentleman of leisure. His employer has many secret documents; he will photograph them, and with the help of a refugee Countess, sell them to the Nazis. When he makes a certain amount of money, he will retire to South America with the Countess as his wife.Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Near the beginning of the film, immediately after the reception of the diplomats, there is a scene of the German diplomat's vehicle leaving the reception. While the film takes place during WWII, the car is clearly passed by two early 50s American cars. See more »
Danielle Darrieux: "Moyzisch, I wish you wouldn't look at me as if you had some source of income other than your salary."
Though I've yet to hear a satisfactory explanation of the title (maybe it has something to do with the digits necessary to open a safe), that's the only thing I can fault with this superb thriller. It's roughly based on a real incident in WWII, how rough doesn't matter; if it didn't happen exactly this way, it should have.
James Mason has never put to better use his by turns servile and arrogant personae. He's an Albanian, personal valet to the British ambassador in neutral Turkey. He has a dream of a villa in Rio and to realize it he needs money. In his privileged position he can open the embassy safe (we never learn how he finagled the combination), photograph secret documents and sell them, after much initially suspicious resistance, to the German embassy.
He then convinces his former Albanian boss' wife, broke, to hold the money for him, using what she needs to keep court. He even convinces himself that he's won her over emotionally, too.
The twists and turns that follow as he's almost caught by the British authorities keep the film hopping along at a tense pace. The ending is Hollywood irony at its best. Totally unexpected.
Look for it where you can. It rarely pops up on TV anymore.
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