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The Man Between (1953)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 2 November 1953 (UK)
In post-World War II Berlin, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military who married German Bettina Mallison. The naive Susanne ... See full summary »

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Harry Kurnitz (screenplay by), Walter Ebert (based on an original story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Ivo Kern
Claire Bloom ... Susanne Mallison
Hildegard Knef ... Bettina Mallison (as Hildegarde Neff)
Geoffrey Toone ... Martin Mallison
Aribert Wäscher Aribert Wäscher ... Halendar (as Aribert Waescher)
Ernst Schröder Ernst Schröder ... Olaf Kastner (as Ernst Schroeder)
Dieter Krause Dieter Krause ... Horst
Hilde Sessak Hilde Sessak ... Lizzi
Karl John ... Inspector Kleiber
Ljuba Welitsch Ljuba Welitsch ... Opera singer: Salome
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Storyline

In post-World War II Berlin, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military who married German Bettina Mallison. The naive Susanne snoops on Bettina and suspects she is hiding a something from her brother. When Susanne meets Bettina with her friend Ivo Kern, he offers to show Berlin to her and they date. But Ivo meets the strange Halendar from the East Germany and Susanne takes a cab and return to her home alone. Then she dates Ivo again and he meets Olaf Kastner, who is a friend of Martin and Bettina. But soon Susanne, who has fallen in love with Ivo, learns that he was a former attorney married to Bettina but with a criminal past during the war. Now he is blackmailed by Halendar to kidnap Kastner and bring him back to the other side of the border. The plan fails and Halender asks his men to abduct Bettina to get Kastner. However, Susanne is kidnapped by mistake and is imprisoned in the basement of a house in East Berlin. Now Ivo... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

2 November 1953 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El otro hombre See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions 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

Carol Reed always felt that the script for this film wasn't quite right, and was constantly trying to get it rewritten during filming. At one point, he approached Evelyn Waugh to do a rewrite, but Waugh refused, claiming he couldn't understand the story. See more »

Goofs

In East Berlin, there are many political posters with the name "Walter Ulbrich," but the East German Communist leader's name was actually spelled "Ulbricht." See more »

Quotes

Ivo Kern: [Already starting to rub one of Susanne's feet] Are your feet cold?
Susanne Mallison: Yes, and my hands are cold. Your heart is the coldest of all.
Ivo Kern: I can warm your feet for you. It's a pity you can't do anything about my heart.
Susanne Mallison: I could try.
Ivo Kern: Why should you bother?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hilde (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Wer soll das bezahlen?
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Kurt Feltz (as Walter Stein)
Music by Jupp Schmitz
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good post-war espionage picture
7 June 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Claire Bloom has just arrived in post-war Berlin to vacation with her brother who is in the British Army and his new German wife (played by Hildegard Knef). Knef shows Bloom all about Berlin--both the Allied and the Russian sectors. In the east, the meet James Mason--a mysterious man who soon begins dating Bloom. However, there's obviously much more to the man than this and he and Knef share some secret. Later, through a strange series of events, Bloom is accidentally kidnapped and it's up to dashing Mason to help her sneak back to West Berlin--all the while pursued with Communists bent on their capture.

The film has a look very similar to director Reed's more famous preceding film, THE THIRD MAN--which was shot in post-war Vienna. However, the camera work in THE THIRD MAN was more daring and novel and the Berlin took far worse damage during the war--and the sheer volume of rubble in 1953 is still very significant and adds to the atmosphere.

Overall, while not a great spy film, it is very good and keeps your interest. I would say, overall, that the second half is a bit more exciting than the first. I especially liked the ending, though some might have preferred something a bit more upbeat.

By the way, James Mason seemed to do a fairly good job with speaking German. I could tell he wasn't exactly a native speaker, but he was pretty adept.


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