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Loosely based on a true story, Christopher Plummer plays British bank robber Eddie Chapman who finds himself caught between the warring parties in WW2, the British and the Germans. working as a spy for both sides he tries to play the 3rd reich and the British against each other. The real life Chapman described himself as a completely 'amoral' person, which adds a nice philisophical touch to this somewhat colourful spy-flic. Is there any moral in making war? Even if you're the 'good' fighting 'evil'?Written by
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Christopher Plummer as an amoral con man turned double agent for British and Germans......
What seems sometimes like an incredible tale of how a con man easily convinces the British and the Germans that he's working for them during WWII, with very little effort, is given rather routine treatment under the direction of Terence Young.
Christopher Plummer, fresh from playing the Captain in "The Sound of Music," lends a polished air of humor and sarcasm to the role of Eddie Chapman, a safe cracker who makes himself useful to both the British and the German armies by acting as a go between who uses his skills to thwart Germany's war plans for bombing London. Based on a true story, I'm sure it embellishes the truth with lots of fictional twists and turns that serve the purpose of keeping a viewer tuned in to find out what happens next.
A shorter running time would have helped, but the performances are all on a good level with special nods to Yul Brynner, Trevor Howard, Gert Frobe and Romy Schneider. Much of the story seems unconvincing despite the fact that the basic ingredients are based on a true story.
Somehow, Plummer's casting seems slightly off for this kind of material. Gert Frobe is a standout as a doubting Nazi who suspects Plummer is not quite what he pretends to be. Brynner is more low key than usual as an anti-Nazi German officer who knows the end of the war is near. Romy Schneider is excellent as Plummer's love interest.
Could have been a much tighter, more suspenseful tale than it is.
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